Judge Dismisses Charges Against Professor Who Obtained Bacteria for Artwork
By ROBIN WILSON
A federal judge dismissed criminal indictments on Monday against an art professor at the State University of New York at Buffalo who was charged four years ago with mail and wire fraud after receiving bacteria through the mail that he said he planned to use in his art projects.
Judge Richard J. Arcara of the U.S. District Court in Buffalo ruled that the indictment against the professor, Steven J. Kurtz, was "insufficient on its face," The Buffalo News reported.
In a telephone interview with The Chronicle on Monday night, Mr. Kurtz said he and his lawyers were surprised at the ruling because it is rare for judges to dismiss federal indictments. "This case was so ridiculous and out of line, and the judge did the right thing," said Mr. Kurtz. He called the ruling a significant victory, but he noted that the case is not over. The U.S. Justice Department can appeal the judge's ruling. [read on...]