Animal Activist Refuses to Testify

MINNEAPOLIS, Feb. 22 (UPI) — A Minneapolis animal rights activist could spend 11 months in jail for refusing to testify in a lab break-in case at the University of Iowa, authorities say.

Carrie Feldman, 20, was charged with contempt of court and jailed Nov. 17 for refusing to tell a grand jury what she may know about events that occurred in 2004, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported Monday.

Feldman was 15 years old at the time and contends she knows nothing of the Nov. 14, 2004, attack on Spence Laboratories by the Animal Liberation Front. The group allegedly released a video of members breaking into the facility, setting hundreds of mice and rats free, dumping chemicals, and smashing computers, with damages totaling $450,000, the newspaper said.

Police made no arrests until November 2009, when they charged Feldman and her former boyfriend, Scott DeMuth, 22, for refusing to testify before a grand jury — which eventually indicted DeMuth in the break-in.

DeMuth has posted bail and is awaiting trial. Feldman remains in jail but has not been charged with a crime.

“They’re really using her as a pawn in this whole thing,” her attorney, Jordan Kushner, said.

“It’s a principle thing for me,” Feldman said by telephone from jail, adding that her case shows “how easy it is for (the federal government) to abuse the statutes and the secrecy that surrounds it all. I haven’t seen any evidence of why they want my testimony or (have) any reason to hold me.”

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