Leader of Hindu Temple Asks Court to Give Teen Vandals Lighter Sentences

September 14, 2006

Source: Star Tribune

Wire Service: AP


On September 14, 2006 the Associated Press reported, "Two men who vandalized a Hindu temple in Maple Grove got a break Thursday when the leader of the temple helped persuade a judge to give them lighter sentences.

'In this day and age of "Eye for an Eye,"' Dr. Shashikant Sane told Hennepin County District Judge Kevin Burke, the two men deserved a chance to become 'productive citizens,' not 'hardened criminals.'

Burke said he had been inclined to give 60-day jail sentences to both Tyler Tuomie, 19, of Andover, and Paul Spakousky, 20, of Maple Grove. But instead he sentenced them to serve 30 days. They also must pay restitution of $96,454, he ordered.

And they must return to court April 6, the one-year anniversary of the vandalism. If they haven't stayed out of trouble, Burke said, they'll get another 30 days in jail.

Both men pleaded guilty earlier to smashing statues of deities at the ornate Hindu Manir Temple, causing about $200,000 in damage a few months before the temple was to open."