Sunday, March 19, 2000

TRISTATE DIGEST


Symposium celebrates arts center's acquittal

        The 1990 acquittal of the Contemporary Arts Center and director Dennis Barrie on obscenity charges will be commemorated Saturday and Sunday by an anti-censorship symposium.

        Speakers will include H. Louis Sirkin, co-counsel on the defense team that persuaded jurors that photos by the late Robert Mapplethorpe were not beyond the protection of the First Amendment.

        The program will be at the Omni Netherland Plaza, sponsored by Cincinnati's Campaign Against Censorship in the Arts, the International Association of Art Critics in this country and CityBeat.

        Tickets for the program are $25 for association members, $35 general admission, and $20 for students. One-day and half-day tickets cost less. All can be purchased at the door, according to organizer William Messer.

        Seven of 175 Mapplethorpe photos were included in Hamilton County misdemeanor indictments for pandering obscenity and using a minor in nudity-related material. Five depicted sadomasochistic homosexual acts; two photos showed youngsters with their genitals exposed.

        The four-man, four-woman jury, selected in part for its unfamiliarity with the arts, took two hours to acquit the CAC and Mr. Barrie.

        The CAC was the first U.S. art center indicted for obscenity.

Police arrest three in theft at McDonald's
        FOREST PARK — Forest Park police units responded to a report of an armed robbery Saturday morning at the McDonald's restaurant at 2290 Waycross Road.

        Officers investigated and learned that no armed robbery had taken place, but that three juveniles, including one McDonald's employee, were involved in a theft at the restaurant.

        All three juveniles were arrested. The money was recovered, Forest Park police said.

Massage parlor workers face prostitution charges FLORENCE — Two women working at massage parlors here were arrested Friday for allegedly touching clients sexually and offering sexual favors for the standard $60 to $80 massage fee.
        Chun Pyon, 47, of Florence and Chong Han, 45, of Finneytown face charges of prostitution and promoting prostitution.

        On Saturday afternoon, Ms. Han remained in Boone County Jail. Ms. Pyon had been released on a $1,000 bond.

        It was the county's first such massage parlor arrest since 1982, said Boone County Sheriff Mike Helmig.

        The sheriff's agency and Florence Police Department began investigating the case about a month ago. They had received calls about a new massage parlor, Ultra Relaxation, at 7730 U.S. 42, where Ms. Pyon worked.

        The investigation turned to Stress Away massage parlor when it opened about two weeks ago at 7141 Manderlay Drive, where Ms. Han was working.

        Both businesses had occupational licenses from the City of Florence. Sheriff Helmig is seeking to have them revoked.

        The case remains under investigation. Videotapes were confiscated at Friday's arrest. Investigators will review them this week.

Man gets 13 years for attacks on 2 students
        ELYRIA, Ohio — A former Oberlin College kitchen worker has been sentenced to 13 years in prison for brutally attacking two college students, one in her dorm room.

        DeLucas Lucas, 20, of Oberlin, was sentenced Friday in Lorain County Common Pleas Court on charges that included attempted murder, attempted rape, aggravated burglary and two counts of aggravated robbery. He faced up to a 77-year sentence.

        “Their lives have been devastated. What this man has done to them will always be with them,” said Laura Swansinger, an assistant county prosecutor.

        Mr. Lucas' father, Willie, said the punishment was too harsh.

        “He shouldn't have gotten what he did,” Willie Lucas said. “I really don't think he did it. The boy is not that type of boy.”

        Mr. Lucas broke into Fairchild Dormitory Sept. 8, 1998, Oberlin police said. He grabbed an electric mixer attachment and entered the unlocked room of an 18-year-old freshman.

        He then attacked the woman, striking her in the head, and tried to sexually assault her, police said. The woman suffered a fractured skull and arm injuries.

        Police also said Mr. Lucas attacked a student walking to her dorm in February 1998. The woman, hit on the head at least twice with a 6-inch metal object, fought off Mr. Lucas and he fled.

Tank to be fixed after worms found in water
        PARMA HEIGHTS, Ohio — Cleveland water officials discovered about 12 worms in a concrete water tank after a ceiling joint deteriorated.

        None of the customers who draw water from the tank complained of earthworms dropping out of their spigot, said Julius Ciaccia, head of the Cleveland Water Department.

        The tank, largest of 12 underground reservoirs in the Cleveland water system, was built in 1934.

        After the worms were found Feb. 16, officials took water samples, conducted tests and notified the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

        The water was fine, said Dave Maschak, the Ohio EPA's public drinking water inspector for Cuyahoga County.

        The tank, which is covered by sod, was shut down when inspectors, using a remote camera, saw debris in the water.

        Mr. Ciaccia sent in a diver, who retrieved about a dozen worms from the tank floor.

        Inspectors found an opening in the roof about 1 inch wide and 10 feet long that allowed dirt and worms to fall into the tank. A rubberized strip that serves as an expansion joint had eroded.

        The tank resumed operations Thursday for customers in Parma, Parma Heights, Strongsville, Brunswick, North Royalton and Middleburg Heights.

        Work is to start next month on a yearlong, $6 million project to repair structural problems in the tank.

       



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Downtown Theatre Classics ambitious
GET TO IT
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- TRISTATE DIGEST