'Babe' actor James Cromwell sentenced to jail for N.Y. plant protest

WAWAYANDA, N.Y.  — Oscar-nominated actor James Cromwell has been sentenced to jail for refusing to pay fines related to his arrest at a protest at a New York power plant.

The Times Herald-Record of Middletown reports a town judge in Wawayanda on Thursday sentenced the 77-year-old Cromwell to seven days in jail.

Cromwell was among a group of six protestors found guilty of obstructing traffic at a December 2015 sit-in at the site of a natural gas-fired power plant being built in Wawayanda.

The protesters say the plant threatens the environment. Cromwell was reported to have been shouting "Power to the people!" during the protest.

The group was found guilty by Wawayanda Town Justice Timothy McElduff Jr. and on June 7 were each fined $250 plus a $125 surcharge. Three paid; Cromwell was among three who refused. McElduff sentenced Cromwell to seven days in the county jail and suspended the sentence until July 14.

Cromwell says he hopes that people can see the injustice of the jail sentence and that others may be inspired to join the pickets.

Cromwell, who lives in a neighboring town, has appeared in more than 50 films and numerous TV series but is probably best known for his Oscar-nominated role in the 1995 comedy-drama Babe, in which he played a New Zealand farmer with a pig who wants to be a sheepdog ("That won't do, pig!"). He also appeared in The Green Mile and L.A. Confidential. Among his most recent TV roles, he played a cardinal in the series The Young Pope with Jude Law.

Cromwell has become known more recently for his activism. In 2013, he pleaded no contest to charges of disrupting a University of Wisconsin Board of Regents meeting while protesting the treatment of cats in research labs there.

© 2017 Associated Press


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