Advertisement
Wednesday, Dec 08, 2021
Outlook.com
Outlook.com

US Woman Who Refused To Wear Mask In Grocery Store Convicted For Trespassing

Marianne Smith, 57, was arrested on Aug 15, 2020, at a grocery store in California where an anti-mask protest against the state's mask mandate was taking place nearby.

US Woman Who Refused To Wear Mask In Grocery Store Convicted For Trespassing
57-year-old Marianne Smith tried to enter a grocery store in California without a mask and refused to follow the state's Covid-19 mandate | AP/PTI
US Woman Who Refused To Wear Mask In Grocery Store Convicted For Trespassing
outlookindia.com
2021-10-22T07:29:39+05:30

A Southern California woman who refused to wear a mask or leave a grocery store last year was convicted of trespassing and obstructing a business or customers.

The jury found Marianne Campbell Smith guilty on Wednesday and Orange County Superior Court Judge John Zitny sentenced her to 40 hours of community service, a year of informal probation and a $200 fine, the Orange County Register reported.

Smith, 57, was arrested on Aug. 15, 2020 at Mother's Market in the city of Costa Mesa, where an anti-mask protest against California's mask mandate to prevent the spread of the coronavirus was happening nearby.

In a statement in court before sentencing, Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said the case centered on property rights.

“The defendant wanted to make this about masks and freedom,” Spitzer said. “This trial was about a private business and workers just trying to comply with health orders. Instead she bullied her way around the store and yelled at masked elderly shoppers that they were part of a government conspiracy.”

Smith said she cannot wear a mask due to a medical condition and her lawyer said she went into the store to get food, not to protest.

“Justice was not served, but I accept it,” Smith, 57, said outside the courthouse. “Because it was important to talk about these issues today.”

The Register newspaper said the case marked one of few times in which arrests or criminal charges involving mask requirements have been pursued in Orange County, where police and prosecutors have focused on education and outreach regarding coronavirus restrictions.

Another woman arrested with Smith previously accepted a plea deal requiring a donation to a coronavirus relief fund and admitted to an infraction for refusing to leave the store when a police officer ordered her to leave the premises at the owner's request. A third woman who entered with them apparently left before police responded.

Defense attorney Frederick Fascenelli questioned why Smith wasn't charged with violating mask requirements that had been added to Costa Mesa's municipal code.

“This thing is all political,” Fascenelli said. “They are trying to shoehorn in these trespassing charges because they don't want to touch the third rail of politics that is a mask mandate.”

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

Why A Democratic India Must Junk Draconian AFSPA

Why A Democratic India Must Junk Draconian AFSPA

Experts believe the AFSPA has caused more harm to the Indian State in insurgency-hit areas than mitigating problems. Here’s why.

Nagaland Ambush: Not Just AFSPA, It’s Time To Do Away With Most Special Laws

Nagaland Ambush: Not Just AFSPA, It’s Time To Do Away With Most Special Laws

It may be time for India to uphold human dignity, take a hard look at some of its regressive laws like AFSPA which includes Special Laws that authorises detention without trial.

Ashes 2021-22: Australia Start Favourites - Statistical Preview

Ashes 2021-22: Australia Start Favourites - Statistical Preview

The Gabba has been like a fortress for Australia in the Ashes. The Aussies have a 12-4 win-loss record in Brisbane and they will do everything to protect that record.

Why AFSPA In Jammu And Kashmir Is Not Just A Defence Act

Why AFSPA In Jammu And Kashmir Is Not Just A Defence Act

Has the AFSPA become an ideological Act, a tool to revise Kashmir history? Many analysts believe so.

Advertisement