Hindi wants to face eavesdropping charges in court

Tuesday, July 25, 2000

Kane County Chronicle (IL)


ELBURN – Animal rights activist Steve Hindi has created an Internet web page blasting Kane County for its county fair rodeo and claiming he was offered a plea bargain in his felony eavesdropping charge.

Hindi, now of Elburn, is a foe of rodeos, charging that the animals are forced to perform when they are injured or frightened by various means – including the use of electric shock. Until recently, Hindi lived in Geneva.

Last July, Hindi was arrested for illegal eavesdropping when he taped recorded himself talking with St. Charles Police about his allegations of animal abuse at the rodeo. His site, www.kanecruelty.com, claims, among other things, that he turned down a plea bargain offer from the state's attorney. His case is set for trial in September.

A plea bargain is an offer to a defendant to plead guilty, usually to a lesser charge in exchange for leniency and the avoidance of a trial.

"With the moment of truth approaching, the State's Attorney has offered to plea bargain," his site proclaims. "Steve has refused any type of bargain and says he is looking forward to court."

Hindi would not offer any details about the plea bargain. He would only say, "Like it says on the web site, I'm looking forward to court." He referred questions to his attorney, Rick Halprin.

Halprin was angry that his client posted news of the plea offer on his web site. "I will not talk about that," Halprin said when asked about the details of the plea bargain offer. "I will not comment on it."

Kane County State's Attorney spokesman Doug Booth also would not comment about a possible plea agreement. "We will not substantiate that it was offered," Booth said. Regarding the web site in general, Booth added, "We don't comment."

The web site also details his presentations before the Kane County Board regarding allegations of rodeo cruelty and general criticisms of the Kane County State's Attorney David Ackemann. It also contains links to three articles printed in the Kane County Chronicle regarding the issue.

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