Friday, Mar 14, 2008
An Oregon man has been sentenced to 50 days in jail for his part in the previously reported theft and destruction of the statue of Sacagawea that was located within the park. Marcus Bologna, 42, of Gearhart got what the judge said was the maximum sentence he could impose for the theft â 50 days in jail, 24 months on probation, fines totaling $348, reimbursement of $450 to pay the cost of his court-appointed attorney fees, and restitution of $20,000 to the park to be paid along with other suspects. The judge said the state's sentencing guidelines didn't allow a harsher sentence. He and the county prosecutor also said that public sentiment is building against such sentences and noted that Oregonians will consider two measures this fall to deal more sternly with crimes such as drug dealing, theft and identity theft. The charges in this case were theft, criminal mischief and abuse of a venerated object. Oregon's sentencing grid amounts to a spreadsheet with the severity of a crime as one axis and a suspect's record as the other. The statue of Sacagawea and her baby, Jean Baptiste Charbonneau, disappeared from the park on January 20th. It had been bolted into a concrete footing. A Bend scrap dealer tipped police that sellers of the statue's remains had approached him. The statue had been hacked to pieces. "Based upon the press' attention to this, we realize this is a despicable crime," said Bologna's attorney. "Mr. Bologna would like to apologize to the public for being involved in this peripherally." David Szymanski, the parkâs superintendent, said the crime "had a larger impact than just removing something of value from the park. It forced us to think about what services and facilities we can leave open to the public." He said park staff would like to leave the gate open until 10 p.m. on summer nights when it's light until late in the evening, but most of the staff leaves earlier. "This particular case isn't going to make us throw in the towel, but it will certainly make us rethink how we do things," he said.