Wisconsin pastor fined for taunting woman during nudity protest

Posted: Friday, June 07, 2002

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A minister who has led protests against the Mazomanie nude beach on the Wisconsin River has been fined $1,000 for taunting a woman in a parking lot near the beach last year.

A county judge said Ralph Ovadal's name-calling of beach-goer Nancy Erickson crossed the line from constitutionally protected preaching to intimidation.

''Before coming in, I had considered placing you in jail,'' the judge told Ovadal during sentencing. ''But that will only create more of a martyr out of you, and I'm not going to do that.''

Ovadal, pastor of Christ the King Church, was earlier convicted of disorderly conduct after he and other nude beach protesters confronted Erickson in the parking lot.

Ovadal said after sentencing he would continue to work toward closing the beach.

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