Mother gets 50 hours punishment over daughter’s chalk drawings

By David Edwards
Thursday, August 2, 2012 10:54 EDT
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Susan Mortensen to do 50 hour community service over chalk drawings
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A Virginia mother has agreed to 50 hours of community service after her 4-year-old daughter used chalk to draw on rocks on Belle Isle in Richmond.

A judge determined that there was enough evidence to convict Susan Mortensen, 29, on charges of vandalism, but the charges are expected to be dismissed if she completes the 50 hours of work by Jan. 3, according to WWBT.

During a court hearing, Officer Stacy Rogers testified that Mortensen had cursed when she was given the ticket. Defense attorney G. Brian Tacey said his client had apologized for the confrontation with police.

The mother will have to scrape and repaint about 200 boundary posts in near the James River. But first, she will have to remove all the weeds around the posts.

“I agree that the outcome is something I would agree with and I thought it would help as far as doing community service,” Mortensen said.

WWBT legal analyst Steve Benjamin said in March that Mortensen should not have gotten the ticket in the first place.

“Using sidewalk chalk to draw some little doodle on a rock is not criminal,” Benjamin explained. “If that were criminal, so would hopscotch, writing ‘Johnny loves Susie’ on the sidewalks.”

As for the 4-year-old daughter, Mortensen said she had been traumatized by the experience.

“She’s very scared of chalk for one,” Mortensen told WTVR in July. “And she’s very nervous around cops.”

Watch this video from WWBT, broadcast July 31, 2012.

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David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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