Science + Technology

Extremists admit harassing animal research faculty, face sentencing in court

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One anti–animal research extremist has pleaded guilty and another pleaded no contest to felony criminal charges in connection with an ongoing campaign of harassment of UCLA researchers who utilize laboratory animals in their work.
 
The Los Angeles County district attorney's office announced March 19 that Linda Faith Greene, 62, and Kevin Richard Olliff, 22, had accepted negotiated settlements related to stalking and other felony charges.
 
Olliff pleaded no contest and faces a three-year state prison sentence under a negotiated settlement, prosecutors said. Greene pleaded guilty and faces five years of supervised probation and, under a negotiated settlement, must stay away from the UCLA campus and the victims' homes. Formal sentencing for Greene is scheduled for April 9. Olliff is due to be sentencned May 12.
 
"Criminal acts to advance a cause or a belief have no place in a civilized society," UCLA Chancellor Gene Block said. "While we respect the rights of those who take a different view of animal research, we are committed to protecting our researchers from harassment and providing an environment where they can continue their work toward cures and a greater understanding of the human body."
 
Block praised UCLA police for gathering extensive evidence, in cooperation with other law enforcement agencies. He also applauded the district attorney's office for recognizing the seriousness of crimes committed against campus researchers.
 
A Los Angeles County grand jury indicted Greene and Olliff on March 27, 2009, and both were arraigned the following month. The victims were listed as researchers at UCLA and employees of POM Wonderful Juice Co.
 
Greene and Olliff had been listed as defendants in preliminary injunction issued in April 2008 that prohibited harassment of UCLA researchers. A judge converted it to a permanent in junction in July 2009.
 
No arrests have been made in connection with several incidents of arson and attempted arson claimed by anti–animal research extremists targeting UCLA.
 
UCLA researchers utilize laboratory animals in an ongoing quest for knowledge that benefits society. This research has enhanced our understanding of how the human body functions and has led to the development of lifesaving procedures and medicines — among them radiation therapy and other cancer treatments, open-heart surgery, fetal circulatory health treatments, organ transplantation, mental health treatments and vaccines.
 
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