A 32-year-old man pleaded guilty to defacing a public statue in Salem, Massachusetts, by pouring red paint over it last summer, and he will be sentenced to 18 months of probation.
Ironically, the “Bewitched” statue, depicting the famous fictional television “witch” character from the 1960s, Samantha Stephens, was situated in Salem, the location of the famous Salem witch trials in 1692.
A Salem District Court Judge initially sentenced the 32-year-old, Kylynn Chambers, to one year in jail, but he suspended the sentence on one condition, that the perpetrator repays the cost of repairing the damage caused to the statue, a Massachusetts tourist attraction, and that he stays out of trouble, the AP reported.
The bronze statue, representing Elizabeth Montgomery, a famous Hollywood actress, in her role as a housewife and witch in the 1960s sitcom “Bewitched,” shows the character sitting on a broomstick under a crescent moon. It is located in Lappin Park, at the Washington and Essex Street intersection.
The statue was one in a series of statues put up by the TV Land Cable Channel in 2005 featuring popular fictional TV characters.
In June 2022, witnesses called the police to report someone vandalizing the statue by spray painting it. A police officer in the area saw a man fitting the descriptions given by the witnesses of the vandalism, and began chasing him. Kylynn used a can of red Rustoleum spray paint to commit the crime.
Shortly after, the police arrested the man just a few blocks away at a commuter rail station on Bridge Street and charged him with resisting arrest, defacing property, and disorderly conduct.
According to a prosecutor in the case, Chambers was going through a tough time and wanted to get arrested on purpose. Before his arrest, Chambers had been living in a homeless shelter since being divorced and actively seeking new employment.
The judge dropped the third charge of resisting arrest, and the charge for disorderly conduct will be dismissed after 30 days.