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Stumpf gets community service for duck defacing

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A Red Wing woman was sentenced Thursday to probation and community service for writing anti-gay statements on the Environmental Learning Center's giant concrete duck in September.

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Wendy Lee Stumpf, 64, 427 E. Seventh St., will serve two years of probation and complete 40 hours of community work service. She also must pay about $250 for repairs for the duck.

Stumpf faced one third-degree damage to property charge, one fourth-degree damage to property charge and a disorderly conduct charge.

According to a court complaint filed Oct. 2, the duck -- which is pulled around on a trailer and used by the ELC for fundraising -- was parked in front of a residence in the 400 block of East Seventh Street Sept. 3.

Two individuals reported that at about 11 p.m. they saw Stumpf, whom they could identify because she is their neighbor, standing next to the duck and writing things on the chest and tail.

Initial denial

After investigating, officers discovered anti-gay statements, including "No Fagots," "GOD said to multiply" and "PFLAG No Vote NO NO" spray painted in black on the duck.

When questioned by police, Stumpf initially denied involvement.

"It wasn't me," she said. "It must have been someone who looked like me."

However, she admitted to police a couple days later that she had vandalized the duck.

Stumpf pleaded guilty to one count of third-degree damage to property Dec. 13. The two other charges were subsequently dismissed.

In the sentencing Thursday, Judge Larry Clark underlined the effect that the anti-gay vandalism had on not only the victims, but the community as a whole.

He also read from a victim impact statement provided to the court by the two men who had rented the duck at the time it was vandalized. They had been using the duck to draw attention to "Vote No" buttons and T-shirts they were selling before November's marriage amendment vote.

"I am amazed that anyone, especially a neighbor I know, would damage Bob the Duck in a way that is so painful," Clark read from the statement, which also talked about how the victims had mowed Stumpf's lawn and sent cards to her when they learned that she has cancer.

"They're good neighbors," Stumpf said, referencing the victims. "I had no right to do that and I'm very sorry.

"I am guilty of the charge," she added. "I feel regret and remorse for the pain that I have caused."

The community service will allow Stumpf "the opportunity to give something back to the community after taking something away from the community," prosecutor Elizabeth Breza said.

As part of the community service, Clark is requiring Stumpf to speak with a family who has been a victim of hate crimes.

"They can talk to you about what it's like to be a victim," he said.

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Sarah Gorvin
Sarah Gorvin has been with the Republican Eagle for two years and covers education, business and crime and courts. She graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in 2010 with a  journalism degree.
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