Charges dismissed in theft case
February 17, 2012
The students arrested for the theft of nativity statues last December can breathe a little more easily. Charges against Cathryn Sargent, Samantha Bundy, Emily Triebel, Korri Crawford and Brittany Smallberger were dropped Monday, Feb. 6, as part of diversion agreement.
The five Monmouth College students were arrested on Dec. 8 and charged with Class A Misdemeanor theft of nativity scene figures from Public Square. Crawford told the arresting officer the group had transported figures from the nativity scene to President Mauri Ditzler’s lawn after she picked the others up from a bar.
All five students have been enrolled in a diversion program. They will complete 25 hours of community service at the Buchanan Center For the Arts. As part of their community service the students will repair minor damage to figures from the nativity scene, according Warren County State’s Attorney Chip Algren.
The incident received national attention after several bloggers picked up on the story.
The incident also drew the attention of Kappa Kappa Gamma national headquarters. Four of the students involved were members of Kappa. Kappa Gamma’s national vice president Beth Black visited the local chapter Sunday, Feb. 12, and spoke on the need for accountability within the organization. She also spoke about moving forward by increasing philanthropic efforts.
The Kappa advisory board was unable to take any action in the matter. Two advisers were parents of students involved and the remaining two were college employees who also had a conflict of interest in the matter.
All four Kappas, Sargent, Bundy, Triebel and Crawford, are on probation in Kappa until May 1. All four were officers within Kappa at the time of the incident or were to serve as officers this semester. Sargent, who was vice president of organization when the incident occurred will remain president. Jackie Deskovich is acting president during Sargent’s probation. Crawford, the current panhellenic delegate, is being substituted by Heather Malone during the probationary period. Bundy served as new member chair but currently holds no office. Triebel was serving as president at the time of the incident and currently holds no office.
Sargent plans to appeal her Kappa probation Sunday.
Smallberger is a member of Pi Beta Phi. It was not known at press time if her sorority had taken any disciplinary action.
Sargent, Bundy, Triebel, Crawford and Smallberger did not return requests for comment.