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February 16, 1995 - Image 1

Resource type:
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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-02-16

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w t

One hundred four years of editorial freedom

Unsh

Weather
Tonight: Partly cloudy,
lows 10° to 20'
Tomorrow: Partly cloudy,
high in mid 30s.

Thursday
February 16, 1995

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Net users

ore spond
on-line to
Baker case'
By Matthew Smart
paily Staff Reporter
Reactions from Internet users to
the Jake Baker case are as varied as
the topics discussed in the Usenet
newsgroup where he posted his origi-
nal stories.
Baker posted his fantasy to a
newsgroup on the Internet designed
for sexually explicit stories called
"alt.sex.stories."
Usenet is a worldwide, electronic
I>ulletin board that contains thousands
of topics. Each subject has its own
newsgroup and may have subtopics.
Dozens of topics are added daily.
University students and staff with
Unix accounts ctn access these
newsgroups. Activity in newsgroups
ebbs and flows.
During the past week, posts to
"alt.sex.stories" have increased dra-
Watically with discussion of the Baker
case.
Newsgroup users all seem to have
opinions about Baker's stories. Com-
ments on the Baker case have been
posted from as far away as Adelaide,
Australia.
"Though the public at-large would
consider its content inappropriate for
general publication, (Baker's story)
was by no means unusual or out of
Oplace for stories posted to the Usenet
newsgroup 'alt.sex.stories,"' wrote
Matt Pritchard, known as matthewp

°ake.baker@trial
N Jake Baker, who was indicted by a
grand jury late Tuesday night, will face
arraignment and enter a plea tomorrow at
1 p.m. in U.S. District Court in Detroit.
His attorney said he will plea not
guilty to one federal charge of interstate
transmission of a threat to injure or
kidnap another person.

Student to plead not guilty
at tomoffow's arraignment

' :

4.,..

Following arraignment, Baker will
remain in prison until his trial, unless a
an appeal is decided in his favor.
Phil Watson, a Virginia man, said he had exchanged e-mail messages with
LSA sophomore Jake Baker on Jan. 13, 1995. Here are excerpts from
Baker's writings.
"My stories are harmless diversions," Baker wrote. "I have
never hurt anybody, and never plan on hurting anybody."

P9H
___nsY
Mfr
the
thi
@netcom.com on the Net.
Other Internet users voiced simi-
lar thoughts.
"This is a forum for fantasy. All
fantasy, not just an opinion of what is
morally correct. No one has the right
to tell a student that his fantasy is
wrong," wrote Thomas Line
(sandman @purdue.edu).
But some users are concerned with
the content of messages like Baker's
on "alt.sex.stories" and other "alt.sex"
newsgroups.
"What goes on in the 'dark cor-
ners' of the Internet does affect us all,

have remained honest to you
rople, sumply to 'express the fat
at # would never do the things in.
stories," Baker wrote. "I leave
self open to attacks such as
ise, "which is perhaps not the best
ng, but Ibelieve it is proper."
and shouldn't be taken lightly," wrote
James Bell (bell@ohio-state.edu).
Derek Foster (deef@teleport.com),
like many users, wrote that Baker's
right to free speech should be pro-
tected. "The existence of such stories
is one of the prices that we pay for
having a free society," he wrote.
Sean Ennis (umennisO@
cc.umanitoba.ca) concurred. "I dis-
agree strongly with anyone actually
committing the acts mentioned in the
story, but he should have the right to
express them (sick as they may be),"
See INTERNET, Page 5

By Josh White
Daily Staff Reporter
Wayne County grand jury mem-
bers decided late Tuesday night that
there was probable cause to try LSA
sophomore Jake Baker in federal
court.
The indictment charges Baker with
one federal count of interstate trans-
mission of a threat to injure or kidnap
another person. The grand jury's de-
cision came five days after Baker's
detention. He will face his arraign-
ment and enter a plea at a 1 p.m.
hearing tomorrow before Magistrate.
Judge Steven Pepe.
"Mr. Baker is definitely going to
plead not guilty in court on Friday,"
said Douglas Mullkoff, Baker's at-
torney. "He will be presented with the
charge and will enter his plea. It should
be a short hearing."
Sandy Pallazalo, a spokeswoman
for the U.S. Attorney's office in De-
troit, said the grand jury indictment
prevents the necessity of the previously
scheduled probable cause hearing.
"The grand jury returned a prob-
able cause that Baker was involved in
the crime and he is now, as a result,
going to face a judge who has been
selected for the trial," Pallazalo said.
"After he is arraigned, the lawyers
will have 20 days to file motions, but
it is more likely that it will be a month
or so before the trial."
She said Federal Judge Avern
Cohn will hear the trial at the U.S.
District Court in Detroit.
Because Magistrate Judge Tho-

mas Carlson and Judge Bernard
Friedman ordered Baker held without
bail in the Wayne County jail, he will
remain in custody unless an appeal is
decided in his favor.
Pallazalo said the judges' deci-
sions to hold Baker in jail resulted
from speculation that he was "dan-
gerous to society." She added that it is
not unusual for judges to detain people
who may be a threat.
Mullkoff said he has notified the
6th Circuit Court in Cincinnati via the
Detroit branch that he plans to file
briefs either today or tomorrow.
"We are appealing the decision to
hold Mr. Baker without bond,"
Mullkoff said. "We should hear within
a week what the decision is from the
appellate court. I think that he will be
released at that time."
Mullkoff said the grand jury in-
dictment is a way for the prosecution
to avoid presenting the case against
Baker before a judge in a preliminary
hearing.
"The U.S. attorney did this so that
he would not have to deal with a judge
in presenting probable cause," he said.
"He was able to present the
prosecution's side without a defense
attorney, without a judge. He was
basically lecturing to 16 to 22 jurors.
"He rubber-stamped a foregone
conclusion. If he had had to present
the facts to a judge, he might not have
had a trial coming up."
U.S. Attorney Ken Chadwell, who
is handling the prosecution, could not
be reached for comment.

In old e-mail,
Baker clWms
stories were
'harmless
By Josh White
Daily Staff Reporter
Phil Watson, a Virginia man,
told The Michigan Daily he had
exchanged e-mail messages with
LSA sophomore Jake Baker, in
which Baker called his stories
"harmless diversions" and said
he would "never plan on hurting
anybody."
The four messages. which
Watson said were sent to him
throughout the day on Jan. 13.
were in response to an e-mail
message Watson sent to Baker
criticizing the violent sexual con-
tent of a Baker story titled "Danc-
ing." Watson also alerted Uni-
versity and federal officials about
the story.
Baker was indicted by a grand
jury Tuesday night on a federal
charge of transmitting threats
across state lines via the Internet.
Citing Baker's replies to him
as "strange," Watson said they
may shed some light on Baker's
mindset.
See BAKER, Page 5

Mich. lawmakers
,split on crime bills

WASHINGTON (AP) - Michi-
gan lawmakers are split on backing the
cornerstone bill of the GOP crime pack-
age, showing a fight over police fund-
ing that may cause a presidential veto.
The bill, which passed the House
on Tuesday, 238-192, faces tough
scrutiny in the Senate. The bill would
authorize $10 billion in block grants
*and give local authorities the choice
of spending the money on programs
to fight or prevent crime, eliminating
the funding specifically earmarked
for 100,000 new police officers in the
1994 crime law.
"The key battle is going to be
whether or not we use the funds for
more police, or whether we ought to
give money in a block grant and let
states use it for whatever they want,"
Sen. Carl Levin said yesterday.
Levin said often-times the money
is consumed by administrative costs.
In a party-line vote, all of

Michigan's House Democrats voted
against the bill while all Republicans
voted for it.
"Your deputy sheriffs, chiefs of
police, right down the line want to keep
the money to hire more officers," said
Rep. James Barcia (D-Bay City).
President Clinton has said he will
veto a bill that does not protect the
police funding. Rep. John Conyers (D-
Detroit) said the close vote in the House
indicated there were more than enough
votes to sustain a presidential veto.
Michigan's House Republicans
said the block grant approach pro-
vides more flexibility to meet local
needs to fight and prevent crime.
"I have yet to understand why a
member of Congress from Alaska,
Hawaii; New York or Alabama thinks
they know what is needed to fight
crime in Michigan better than our
local officials," said Rep. Joe
Knollenberg of Bloomfield Hills.

MICHAEL FITZHUGH/Daily
A round of applause
LSA students (left to right) Clair Branch, Mary Wechter and Alexis Adkins, sign deaf applause
yesterday, during a sign language class taught by Joni Smith, coordinator of the University's
Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Videotapes of the class are set to air each week
on channel 71 in the residence halls, beginning March 1.
House panel ap prOves
GOP welfare p ropoa

Former'U
lecturer must
pay$36K in
mi.ssing -funds
By Lisa Dines
Daily News Editor
Internal auditors detected a loss "in excess of $36,000"
of funds controlled by former communication lecturer
Nancy Thornhill, a University official said yesterday.
Thornhill pleaded no contest two weeks ago to charges
of co-mingling University funds with personal money.
"That's the latest figure," said University spokes-
woman Julie Peterson. "We really don't have a lot of
details because of the way it was resolved. They are still
working with her to resolve which accounts were involved
and where the money has gone."
At the time of Thornhill's plea, University officials
and the Department of Public Safety refused to disclose
the missing amount. The money disappeared while
Thornhill was organizing the "Human Behavior and Evo-
lution Society" conference last summer.
Thornhill, who taught Communication 312: "Commu-
nication and Contemporary Society" last term, was sus-
pended in December with only three weeks of class left. In
December, the University refused to discuss the circum-
stances surrounding her suspension.
Thornhill was charged under a Michigan statute that
declares it unlawful to combine public money with per-
sonal funds. She faces up to a $1,000 fine and up to two
years in prison. Thornhill will be sentenced March 15 by
Circuit Court Judge Patrick Conlin.
Peterson said Thornhill will repay the missing funds.
"She has agreed to full restitution, but I'm not exactly sure
how or when that will come about."
Jonathan Friendly, director of the Masters in Journal-
ism Program, said the embezzlement harms the troubled
department's reputation. In 1992, then-chair Neil
Malamuth said he had instituted stronger controls over
communication funds, including the hiring of a depart-
mental administrative assistant, Friendly said.
"The University claimed that it put much stronger
fiscal control on the denartment in 1992." Friendly said.

The Washington Post
WASHINGTON - A House subcommittee
passed a Republican welfare proposal yester-
day that would turn over most of the nation's
poverty programs to the states as emotional
speeches revealed the philosophical chasm that
divides the parties on the issue.
"Instead of guaranteeing that this money
goes to children, we are going to guarantee that
it goes to the governor ... put the money in a
plain brown envelope and turn our backs," said
the ranking minority member, Harold Ford (D-
T.«« rr :-L.11sc... a ,L_ r ..A 0~f- h r;

on the Ways and Means subcommittee on
human resources attempted to break the unity
of the subcommittee's eight Republicans on a
plan to restrict welfare spending and grant
states new discretion in distributing aid to the,
needy.
In completing its work on the welfare plan,
one of the most dramatic pieces of legislation
ushered in by the Republican victory last No-
vember, the subcommittee's majority voted to
sharply curtail the Supplemental Security In-
come program.
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