Bahai News - 3 convicted for disrupting AIDS meeting Published Tuesday, March 20, 2001, in the San Jose Mercury News

3 convicted for disrupting AIDS meeting

By the Mercury News

Three members of ACT UP/San Francisco have been convicted of criminal charges for disrupting a meeting of the Baha'i Center last year, the district attorney's office announced.

Todd Swindell, David Pasquarelli and Michael Bellefontaine, part of the radical group that disputes the conventional wisdom that AIDS is caused by the HIV virus, entered the April 17 meeting sponsored by Project Inform and Survive AIDS chanting slogans. The men took up a spot near the front of the hall and hurled pills at the panelists for about six minutes, according to testimony.

After deliberating for 2  1/2 days, the jury convicted Bellefontaine of unlawful public assembly, for which he faces six months in county jail, according to the district attorney's office. Swindell and Pasquarelli were convicted of rioting and disturbing the peace, as well as unlawful public assembly. They each face a year in county jail.


©Copyright 2001, San Jose Mercury News

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