Animal rights activist faces new charge

November 11, 1999

The Geneva Republican (Geneva, IL)

By James Fry
Press-Republican Newspapers

Animal rights activist Steve Hindi of Geneva is facing a new charge of felony eavesdropping for allegedly taping a conversation with St. Charles police at last summer's Kane County Fair.

Joe McMahon, chief of the criminal division for the state's attorney's office, said a grand jury came back with an indictment after prosecutors decided they made a mistake in dropping an earlier charge.

After Hindi originally was charged last summer, an assistant state's attorney agreed to drop the charge, based on an interpretation that said police officers do not share the same expectation of privacy as most people.

However, upon further review, McMahon said prosecutors decided that was wrong and is beginning the process again.

Hindi contends that he was within his rights to tape the conversation, held when he tried to show the officers examples of alleged abuse and mistreatment of animals at the fair.

"Otherwise I wouldn't have done it," Hindi said.

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