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Man Gets Jail for Disobeying Court Order to Lose Weight

October 14, 1995|Associated Press

WICHITA, Kan. — Sugar-sweetened soda. Buffet dinners. Cream-filled cookies. It was all too tempting for 505-pound Arthur Younkin, who was sentenced to 93 days in jail Friday for not obeying a court order to lose weight.

Dropping pounds was a condition of Younkin's probation on a forgery conviction. Sedgwick County District Judge Clark Owens ordered him to slim down after he said he couldn't pay $11,333 in restitution because his weight made him unemployable.

On Aug. 25, Owens ruled that Younkin had violated probation and set sentencing for Friday, when Younkin showed up carrying an additional 20 pounds.

Owens said he wanted to sentence Younkin to more than 93 days, but state law wouldn't allow it.

Younkin's lawyer, Mark Manna, said the order and sentence were unconstitutional because what people choose to eat and weigh is a right of privacy. Manna called the order cruel and unusual.

Younkin has been working as a telemarketer and a sales representative for a farm equipment company, and as long as he is making restitution the court shouldn't worry about his size, his lawyer said.

Younkin's legal troubles began in 1990, a year after his business closed. He and his wife, Sandi, had run a salon called Inches Be Gone, which included vibrating machines designed to reduce fatty flesh.

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