Man pleads guilty to dousing ‘bewitched’ statue with red paint

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Salem, Mass. (AP) — A man will be sentenced to 18 months probation after pleading guilty to vandalizing the “Bewitched” statue by dousing the Salem, Massachusetts tourist attraction with red paint over the summer.

The 32-year-old resident was originally sentenced to a year in prison, but a Salem District Court judge suspended the sentence on the condition that the man reimburse the cost of repairing the damage inflicted on the bronze statue, a reported The Salem News on Tuesday.

The statue depicts actress Elizabeth Montgomery – as the title character Samantha Stephens in the 1960s sitcom – sitting on a broom in front of a crescent moon.

In June, a prosecutor said the man was “going through a tough time and wanted to do something to get himself arrested”, and was being held on bail. His attorney said he had been living in a shelter for two weeks since his marriage ended and was looking for a new job.

He was also charged with disorderly conduct, which will be terminated after 30 days.

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The statue was erected in the city famous for the 1692 witch trials in 2005, despite protests from some who said it trivialized the tragedy of the trials.

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