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3 Convicted of Throwing Pies at Willie Brown

January 20, 1999| Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — Three pie throwers who pelted Mayor Willie Brown in the face were convicted of battery Tuesday by jurors who apparently decided that the offense was not so serious.

The jury deliberated for more than a day and asked the judge whether "throwing a pie can be regarded as an act of comedy and not as an act of battery." Ultimately, they convicted the activists of battery, which carries a six-month jail term.

They acquitted the pie throwers of the more serious misdemeanor charge, assault on a public official, which is punishable by a year in jail.

"There's a pastry uprising going on," an unrepentant Rahula Janowski told reporters after the verdict against her and two fellow members of the Biotic Baking Brigade, which had tried to introduce a professional clown as an expert witness at the trial.

Brown was hit with cherry, pumpkin and tofu pies while giving a speech last November. Janowski, 27, of San Francisco, Justin Gross, 27, of Berkeley and Jerard Livernois, 34, of San Francisco said they were protesting the mayor's policies on homelessness.

Sentencing is set for Feb. 24.

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