Nun Sentenced to 35 Months in Prison for Nuclear Plant Protest

Image: Nun Sentenced to 35 Months in Prison for Nuclear Plant Protest Sister Megan Rice, left, Michael Walli, center, and Greg Boertje-Obed.

Wednesday, 19 Feb 2014 03:11 PM

By Ken Mandel

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An 84-year-old nun received 35-month prison sentence Tuesday for breaking into a Tennessee nuclear plant and defacing a storage bunker as part of a protest.

Sister Megan Rice and two men, Michael Walli and Greg Boertje-Obed, were convicted of cutting fences at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, on July 28, 2012. They later admitted to spray painting peace slogans and banging on exterior walls of the facility, according to The Chicago Tribune. 

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Walli, 63, and Boertje-Obed, 57, were sentenced to 62 months in jail.

"(Rice) does not have the extensive criminal records the others have. Her crimes are minimal in comparison to the others," U.S. District Judge Amul Thapar said.

The trio were sentenced to three years of supervised release after their prison terms. Three weeks ago, they were ordered to pay $52,953 in fines, according to The Christian Science Monitor.

In May, the trio was found guilty of destroying U.S. Government property and causing more than $1,000 in damage. The incident embarrassed the U.S. government, since the storage facility was billed as one of the most secure in the country. 

"Please have no leniency with me," Sister Rice told the judge in her closing statement. "To remain in prison for the rest of my life would be the greatest gift you could give me."

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