NewsAuthor: Steven Shaw
A federal judge has sentenced notorious national parks vandal, Casey Nocket. Nocket pleaded guilty to seven misdemeanor counts of damaging government property. A judge sentenced her to two years of probation and 200 hours of community service. Nocket is also banned from all lands managed by the National Park Service, United States Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and Army Corps of Engineers during her probation period. At a later date, a hearing will be held to determine the amount of restitution Nocket will be required to pay. That date has not been released yet.
The lengthy investigation started back in October of 2014 when images of graffiti in several national parks surfaced on social media sites. Public outrage quickly grew and her actions went viral, attracting the attention of national media outlets. “This case illustrates the important role that the public can play in identifying and sharing evidence of illegal behavior in parks,” said Charles Cuvelier, chief of Law Enforcement, Security, and Emergency Services (LESES) for the NPS. “It is clear that the public cares deeply for the special places that the National Park Service represents, and the resolution of this case sends a message to those who would consider such inappropriate behavior going forward.”
Court documents show Nocket used acrylic paints and markers to draw on rock formations within seven national parks over a 26-day period. (A list of all locations Nocket vandalised is below.) Nocket posted numerous pictures of the drawings on her social media accounts using the tag “Creepytings.”
Acting U.S. Attorney Philip Talbert stated, “The defendant’s defacement of multiple rock formations showed a lack of respect for the law and our shared national treasures. The National Park Service has worked hard to restore the rock formations to their natural state, completing clean-up efforts in five of the seven parks. They expect to complete cleanup efforts at Death Valley in the near future and at Crater Lake as weather permits.”
The charges will likely be seen as a wrist slap. A White House petition that was widely circulated following the discovery of the vandalism spree stated: “Please don't allow her to receive a slap. Please pursue the most serious of charges for these offenses.”
So what do you think? Does the punishment fit the crime? Leave us a comment below and tell us what you think.
Nocket's acts of vandalism included:
September 23, 2014: Death Valley National Park in the Eastern District of California at the summit of Telescope Peak
September 12, 2014: Rocky Mountain National Park in the District of Colorado
September 13, 2014: Colorado National Monument in the District of Colorado on the Monument Canyon Trail
September 15, 2014: Canyonlands National Park in the District of Utah on the Neck Spring Trail
September 17, 2014: Zion National Park in the District of Utah
October 2, 2014: Yosemite National Park in the Eastern District of California at the beginning of the John Muir Trail
October 7, 2014: Crater Lake National Park in the District of Oregon