Judge orders new trial for Alexandra Svoboda

Superior Court Judge Joseph F. Rodgers Jr. Friday ordered a new trial for Alexandra Svoboda on three counts of simple assault against North Providence police officers during a protest in August 2007.  The Providence Journal has the full story:

Rodgers said he did not feel convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that Svoboda had assaulted the officers by striking them with drumsticks during the protest, despite a jury’s finding last week that she was guilty on all three counts.

Rodgers did, however, let stand the jury’s verdict that 25-year-old Svoboda had resisted arrest while picketing Jacky’s Galaxie on Mineral Spring Avenue that hot August day.

…Svoboda’s friends and family, many of whom sat through the six-day trial, greeted the verdict with hugs and tears. She declined to discuss the case, but said, “I’m just happy that my friends and family are here with me to celebrate.”

Terrence Livingston, who prosecuted the case for the state attorney general’s office, said he would discuss with the North Providence police whether to appeal the ruling.

…Rodgers, who is handling cases in his retirement, ordered Svoboda to pay a $100 fine for resisting arrest.

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