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article imageMom sentenced for 'crime' of daughter's chalk drawing

By Brett Wilkins     Aug 1, 2012 in Crime
Richmond - A Richmond, Virginia mom has been sentenced to 50 hours of community service for the 'crime' of allowing her daughter to draw on a rock with some chalk.
Susan Mortensen, 29, is 'guilty' as charged-- she let her 4-year-old daughter draw on a rock on Belle Isle, located in the middle of the James River, with chalk. WTVR reports that Mortensen was ticketed by Richmond police officer Stacy Rogers for the offense in March.
"My daughter was drawing some rectangles, some kind of a door to a magic land with chalk," Mortensen told WTVR in March. "And the officer approached me and... said 'you're destroying my property'... and.. 'I'm also banning you from the city parks.'"
Mortensen said her ticket cost her about $325.
After learning of Mortensen's citation, some of her friends and supporters took to the sidewalk outside Richmond police headquarters on Grace Street in protest and left chalk messages telling authorities how they felt about the incident.
Mortensen said the encounter with Rogers left her daughter "very scared of chalk" but that the protest helped her "feel a little better."
"She's [still] very nervous around cops," Mortensen told WTVR.
Mortensen, who was busted for painting on the same rocks by the same officer two years earlier, was accused of abusing Rogers with curse words when she was cited.
"I don't think I should comment on that," she told WWBT.
In order for the judge to dismiss the charge against her, Mortensen will have to complete 50 hours of community service, painting around 200 boundary posts near the Boulevard Bridge. She'll also have to scrape off the old paint and remove encroaching weeds, and she'll have to do it all before winter arrives, when temperatures will be too cold for paint to stick.
Mortensen is expected to begin paying her debt to society this week.
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