Two who vandalized Jesus statue apologize very publicly

FAIRPORT HARBOR, Ohio (AP) - A man and woman who admitted vandalizing the statue of baby Jesus in a church's outdoor Christmas display marched through town with a donkey to apologize.

Jessica Lange and Brian Patrick, both 19, were ordered to make Sunday's march through this northeast Ohio town after they admitted defacing a statue at St. Anthony Roman Catholic Church on Christmas Eve.

Small groups of residents watched as the two walked and asked forgiveness. They led a donkey provided by a petting zoo through the streets carrying a sign that said, "Sorry for the jackass

The procession allowed Lane and Patrick to avoid a longer jail sentence for stabbing the statue and defacing it with Satanic symbols.

As part of their sentence, they must replace the statue.

"This is a kind of conscience flogging," said Painesville Municipal Judge Michael Cicconetti, who sentenced the two.

After the 30-minute march, Lange and Patrick were taken by police to jail to serve 45-day sentences that will include drug and alcohol treatment.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)