Asbury Park Press from Asbury Park, New Jersey on April 20, 1988 · Page 97
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Asbury Park Press from Asbury Park, New Jersey · Page 97

Asbury Park, New Jersey
Issue Date:
Wednesday, April 20, 1988
Page 97
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E26 Asbury Park PressWednesday, April 20, 1 988 Bail is stayed for ex-teacher in sex abuse Looking for a touch of class? Check the WHEELS section every Friday. The Associated Press JERSEY CITY A state Supreme Court Justice yesterday stayed an appeals court order granting bail to a former day-care teacher convicted of sexually abusing 19 children until the full court meets on the matter on April 26. Justice Marie L. Garibaldi took the action after a prosecutor and defense lawyer presented their arguments on bail for Margaret Kelly Michaels during a half-hour session in the justice's chambers. A single justice cannot reverse a decision of an appellate court but can stay an order until the 7-member court convenes. Ms. Garibaldi said prosecutors have until tomorrow and defense lawyers until Monday to file their briefs. A three-judge panel of the Appellate Division of Superior Court on Monday set bail for Ms. Michaels at $1 million. Ms. Michaels could have been freed if the state Supreme Court had not acted upon the prosecution's appeal by this afternoon. Superior Court Judge William Harth of Essex County on Friday revoked the $25,000 cash bail he set for the duration of Ms. Michaels' trial when the jury returned its verdict in the 10-month proceeding. She was ordered held in the county jail. Ms. Michaels, 26, was convicted of 115 counts ranging from first-degree aggravated sexual assault to third-degree terroristic threats, and endangering the welfare of a 20th child. She was acquitted of 16 counts. One of her lawyers, Harvey Meltzer, has said she will appeal the convictions. Sentencing is tentatively set for May 26. In setting bail for Ms. Michaels, which would require her to post $100,000, the Appellate Division ruled that she had not been a danger to society while out on bail for nearly three years prior to the convictions. But Ms. Garibaldi yesterday expressed concern over the specificity of the bail order, such as where Ms. Michaels would live and who would supervise her. Meltzer said she would live with her family in Pittsburgh if released on bail. Meltzer added that she posed little danger of fleeing because she had already been out on bail for an extended period. Ms. Garibaldi then said, "of co arse, that was before her conviction. That's a big difference." John Redden, first assistant prosecutor for Essex County, said the bail set by the appeals court was inadequate to ensure that Ms. Michaels would not flee. Ex-TV actor files defamation lawsuit The Associated Press ATLANTIC CITY A "Hogan's Heroes" television actor who says he was slandered with false arrest in the lobby of the Showboat Hotel Casino filed a lawsuit yesterday seeking damages from the casino, law authorities and a television distribution company. But a California producer who was working with former actor Larry Hovis said he is "most bewildered" over his colleague's legal actions in the last several weeks, particularly with the defamation lawsuit filed in Atlantic County Superior Court. "I think he is looking for deep pockets," said producer Ralph Andrews, who earlier this year was co-producing a new television game show called "Yahtzee" with Hovis and his partner, Gary Bernstein. Hovis, 52, starred as the demolition expert "Carter" in "Hogan's Heroes" from 1965 to 1971. Since then, he has been an independent script writer and recently formed a production company with Bernstein. In their latest lawsuit, Hovis and Bernstein allege that they were checking out of the Showboat on Feb. 2 after a dispute over the funding of the "Yahtzee" game show. As they were leaving, they said, they were detained by law officers in Showboat's iybby on Feb. 2 amid allegations that they stole dice and other equipment from the set. A host of defendants are named in the lawsuit including the Showboat, ABR Entertainment Co., the city of Atlantic City, Atlantic City police, the state of New Jersey, the state Division of Gaming Enforcement, New Jersey state police and the state Casino Control Commission. "As far as our clients tell us, there was a mass of confusion," said Mark Guralnick, the Mount Laurel lawyer representing Hovis and Bernstein. "They said that representatives of various police agencies were present, including security officers from Showboat and plain clothes and uniformed officers from the gaming agencies." Hovis said yesterday he and Bernstein were held in a cordoned-off area of the lobby for about 45 minutes before being moved to a gaming security office and questioned for another three hours. "It was very embarrassing and very illegal," he said. "People recognized me from the (Hogan's Heroes) show, we missed our plane, and the repercussions have been horrendous and have cost us a couple of shows. "What's involved here is our reputation and our futures," Hovis said. "AH you have in this business is your name . . . and now I have the embarrassment of being called a thief." Hovis said he repeatedly told police to search his small piece of luggage. But with only allegations of theft and no eye witnesses, police could not do so. In the lawsuit, they are suing for an unspecified amount, charging the plaintiffs with slander, false imprisonment, unlawful detention, invasion of privacy, intrusion, emotional distress, negligence and "symbolic defamation." "It's defamatory when you hold someone recognizable in front of people in a cordoned-off area," Guralnick said in explaining "symbolic defamation." Showboat attorneys said yesterday they could not discuss the case because they had not yet received a copy of the lawsuit. Alexander B. Rosen, chairman of ABR Entertainment Co. in Westlake Village, Calif., said Tuesday that Hovis and Bernstein's lawsuit "looks like a publicity stunt to me." He did not deny that the two were detained, "but as far as being harassed, well, that's in the eye of the beholder." Bernstein-Hovis Productions is also suing a variety of individuals over the failure of the "Yahtzee" game show. They mailed copies of the lawsuits to television stations that had started airing "Yahtzee," which prompted dozens of cancellations, Andrews said. "I'm still in a state of shock over this," he said. "They haven't even had the courtesy to call me and tell me what happened. County adjusters prevented from seizing patients' benefits The Associated Press TRENTON Public Advocate Alfred Slocum yesterday praised a court decision that prevents county adjusters from seizing Social Security benefits of low-income psychiatric patients as payment for their hospital stays. The Public Advocate's Office earlier this month obtained a permanent injunction from a federal court judge in Trenton to stop the Mercer County adjuster from attaching the benefits of patients. About 600 county residents were affected by the ruling. Arthur Rosenberg, deputy director of the office's Division of Mental Health Advocacy, said federal law prohibits Social Security payments from being attached or subject to liens. The adjuster was also getting court orders against the patients for hospital bills without first informing the patients, but that practice was abolished with a change in state court rules at the beginning of the year. Patients must now be made fully aware when efforts are made to secure payment from them, Slocum said. "These financial protections are vitally important if released patients are going to have adequate resources to make it on their own," he added. Police accuse Maryland man in 1981 shooting death of wife The Associated Press DEPTFORD TOWNSHIP A Maryland man has been arrested and charged with the 1981 shooting death of his wife whose body was found along a dirt road in Franklin Township. Gloucester County, authorities said yesterday. The suspect Donald Wesley Tipton, 46, of Rosedale, Md., was arrested Monday by members of the U.S. Marshal's Service. Gloucester County Prosecutor Richard Hickey said. Tipton was charged in a fugitive warrant handed up April 12 by a Gloucester County grand jury and sealed pending his arrest, Hickey said. Tipton, who was being held without bail by Baltimore County officials, was charged with killing his wife, Olga Tipton, 53, of Essex, Md., Hickey said. The woman's body was discovered Feb. 10, 1981. She had been shot five times with a .22-caliber handgun, and authorities believe she had been dead between 24 and 48 hours. The indictment did not say where the murder was committed. Hickey declined to comment on specifics. An extradition hearing is scheduling for May 17. I 'fm. plz Enjoy a weekend trip that's easy on your gas tank and youF pocketbook Some of the best and least expensive vacation spots are within a days drive from Monmouth and Ocean counties. Discover them in this weekly column that tells you how to get there, what to do and where to eat along the way. Read "Trip of the Week" every Saturday. THE ASBURY PARK

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