Activists Accept Fine in Pennsylvania Protest Case

Nine adult activists arrested in a May 29 protest plead guilty to reduced charges of harassment and disorderly conduct charges and agreed to pay $400 fine stemming from their actions.

Two of the protesters, Nicholas Cooney and Alexandra Deyo, had been charged with a corruption of minors, but that charge was dropped after the minor in question testified that she participated in the protest willingly and that her parents knew she was going to attend an animal rights protest, although they were unaware of the exact location of the protest. Saying that the state had failed to prove intent, Judge Daniel Maisano threw out the charges.

After testimony about the protest, Maisano reduced the charges based in part on his view that the protest was poorly organized. In issuing the $400 fines, Maisano told the activists,

It’s my understanding that this was the most poorly organized protest I’ve seen. I can’t tell you not to go to his street and stand there with signs, because if you do it the right way, it’s legal. I am going to say, you shouldn’t do it. You have to balance your rights with others.’

Along with Cooney and Deyo, other activists fined included Ian Ross, Lawrence Toft, Ethan Wolf, Christopher Price, Janice Angelillo, Kristine Marusic, and David Lambon.


Animal rights activists to pay fine. Jill Nawrocki, The Daily Local (Pennsylvania), September 22, 2004.

11 Activists Arrested in May 29 Home Demonstration

Nine adult and two minor animal rights activists were arrested in Chester County, Pennsylvania on May 29 as they protested outside the home of Forrest Sheffy, an executive with Johnson Matthey Pharmaceutical Materials.

The arrested adults were Nicholas Cooney, Ian Ross and Lawrence Toft of Philadelphia, Pa; Ethan Wolf of Washington, D.C.; Christopher Price of Hughesville, Md.; Janice Angelillo of Highland Park, N.J.; Alexandra Deyo, of Short Hill, N.J.; Kristine Marusic of Cochranville, Pa; and David Lambon of Norristown, Pa.

Lambon told Daily Local News,

ItÂ’s our experience and a product of years of social research that says they donÂ’t listen when you protest at a business, but they do listen when you protest at their homes.

Our theory is, without customers, the company cannot continue to break the law, therefore Johnson Matthey needs to be stopped (in order) to stop Huntingdon.

A spokesman for Johnson Matthey, however, said the company does not currently have any business with Huntingdon Life Sciences.

Sheffy called police and told the Local Daily News,

It wasnÂ’t subtle, it was basically terrorism. They scared my kid and they scared the children in the neighborhood. I called the police right away because you let the professionals deal with this type of thing. It was totally inappropriate.

The activists were charged with criminal conspiracy, harassment, disorderly conduct. In addition, Cooney and Deyo were charged with corruption of minors due to the presence of the two juveniles arrested. Deyo told the Local Daily News that neither she nor Cooney were aware that the two individuals in question were minors.

State Police Cpl. Bill LaTorre told the Local Daily News, however, that the corruption of minors charges against the two were only added after consulting with the parents of the two minors,

It was indeed a corruption of minors. These kids were led to believe they were doing something in the city and ended up on private property in suburban Chester County. They (the parents) believed there was an appropriate time and place for this type of behavior and the minors were led to believe it was occurring under different circumstances.


Animal rights activists arrested. Jill Nawrocki, Daily Local News, June 14, 2004.

Press Release. SHAC USA, May 30, 2004.