Sunday, May 17, 2009

19 new arrests at Notre Dame as Keyes, others post bond

South Bend Tribune
Tribune Staff Writer

This story was originally posted at 9:17 p.m. May 16, 2009.

SOUTH BEND — There were two new developments Saturday regarding the arrests of anti-abortion protesters at the University of Notre Dame.

It turns out six people arrested Friday will not have to spend the whole weekend in jail as officials originally thought.

And 19 people were arrested Saturday.

Bonds were set for six people, including conservative politician Alan Keyes, who were arrested a second time Friday for trespassing on campus.

Keyes bonded out at 7 p.m. Saturday. His bond, as for the other five, was $1,000.

All the people involved were protesting Notre Dame’s invitation to President Barack Obama to speak at commencement today and the decision to award him an honorary degree. The protesters say Obama should not have been invited to the Catholic university because he is pro-choice on the issue of abortion and supports fetal stem-cell research.

An emergency rule was signed Thursday by the judges of St. Joseph Superior Court requiring that people arrested a second time on a misdemeanor charge not be able to bond out of jail until a hearing before a judge.

Officials initially thought Keyes and the five others would not be able to bond out until they appeared in court Monday.

However, the St. Joseph County prosecutor’s office and St. Joseph Superior Court Judge Jerome Frese reviewed the cases Saturday and Frese set the bonds, allowing the six to be released, St. Joseph County Police Sgt. Bill Redman said.

The only person arrested for a second time Saturday was the Rev. Norman Weslin, 78, of Council Bluff, Iowa.

Redman did not know if Weslin’s case will be reviewed today or if the priest will have to stay in jail until Monday.

Weslin was one of four people arrested Saturday on charges of trespassing and resisting arrest. Another 15 were arrested only on trespassing charges.

A 74-year-old man arrested Saturday is from South Bend. The rest of those arrested Saturday are from out of state.

Anti-abortion activist Randall Terry, founder of Operation Rescue, spoke to the protesters Saturday before they walked onto campus. But he did not go himself.

Norma McCorvey, “Jane Roe” in the Roe v. Wade lawsuit that led to the legalization of abortion across the country, walked onto campus with the other protesters Saturday. She left when police told them the demonstration was not authorized and they would have to leave or face arrest.


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