By Sue Loughlin
TERRE HAUTE — Vigo County School Board candidate Larry M. Faulkner has been banned from Indiana State University and served jail time in connection with inappropriate conduct toward college-age and high-school age women.
On July 28, 2005, Judge Barbara Brugnaux found Faulkner, 26, guilty of battery, a class-B misdemeanor, for an incident in which he grabbed a high-school runner by the waist and “squeezed her buttock with his hand.” The case was a bench trial, or a trial without a jury.
The incident occurred May 9, 2005, on the Fruitridge Avenue overpass. The girl was running track practice and crossing the overpass when she saw a man walking toward her. She started to run around him to avoid him “when he grabbed her waist with his hands and as she turned to break free from his grip, the suspect grabbed and squeezed her buttock with his hand,” according to a court affidavit.
Brugnaux sentenced Faulkner to 180 days in jail to run consecutive with sentences imposed in two other cases. He received credit for 81 days of time served.
Brugnaux also found Faulkner guilty of trespass, a class-A misdemeanor, in a separate case. In a third case, she found him guilty of battery, a class-A misdemeanor, and resisting law enforcement, a class-A misdemeanor.
In the last case, Faulkner was convicted of a Nov. 5, 2004, incident involving battery against a city police officer and resisting arrest.
Faulkner said Friday he believes he should have received a jury trial in those cases.
In 2003, Faulkner was banned from Indiana State University after an incident in which he “harassed and battered” a student at ISU, according to a letter written by Bill Mercier, director of public safety.
On April 22, 2003, a student complained that Faulkner approached several female students north of Dreiser Hall. After the students told Faulkner to leave them alone, he proceeded to sit next to one of the students, touching her hair, back, leg and arm, according to Mercier’s letter. Faulkner was again told to leave them alone and when they left the area to seek assistance through ISU police, “You shouted at them that they were ‘queers and lesbos,’” Mercier’s letter stated.
“These allegations cause me to determine that you pose a threat to the welfare and safety of the university community,” Mercier wrote. The letter stated that as a result, Faulkner was banned from all ISU property, including sports and social events as well as day-to-day operations of the university.
The letter said that if Faulkner violated the ban, he would be subject to arrest and prosecution for criminal trespass.
Last week, Faulkner said he didn’t believe the incident “was anything to the extent of a battery. It was something where I was trying to share the Gospel with the student. My actions were misconstrued as a battery, such as touching on the shoulder and to invoke prayer.”
Asked if it was appropriate to call the women “lesbians” and other names, he responded, “No. I feel, though, that there is a strong feminist movement on ISU’s campus that would provoke these girls to want to turn against a Christian preacher.”
On April 29, 2005, ISU police arrested Faulkner for criminal trespass. En route to the jail, Faulkner cussed out one of the police officers, saying, “You’re going to get shot in the head,” according to an ISU police report.
Asked about his comment to the officer, Faulkner said he believed he was removed by military force rather than diplomacy.
The police officer had a gun and handcuffs. “He fascistly removed me from the campus, and I believe we should rid our free world of fascists and communists,” Faulkner said. “I stood up for my right to assemble.”
He also stated, “I do believe the police officer was at least a fascist, if not a communist.”
On Friday, Mercier said the ban — which he has the authority to order at ISU — is still in effect for Faulkner.
Faulkner said he does have some regrets about his past behavior. “I regret the way in which I presented the Gospel by touching other students in a prayerful manner, but yet at the same time it could be construed as an inappropriate manner.”
Asked whether voters might have some concerns about his past conduct, Faulkner responded he hopes voters “would view my zeal for liberty and my love for life and liberty and see that I’m a very zealous young man who has a heart for what I do in presenting the Gospel.”
Sue Loughlin can be reached at (812) 231-4235 or email@example.com.