My hat is off to them, for in their actions, they help all parents marginalized by sole custody orders drawing attention to the need for a presumption of equal shared parenting.MJM
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
Two fathers who staged a protest at a Buckeyes football game last year to complain about the way dads are treated by family courts pleaded guilty this morning to criminal charges.
Dressed as superheros, Donald Tenn and Paul D. Fisher climbed a 200-foot crane at Lane and Neil Avenue last September to unfurl a banner for their cause. Fisher, of Columbus, dressed as Superman and Tenn, of Sacramento, Calif., dressed as Spider-Man.
They were charged with felony vandalism counts for the stunt, which lasted three days.
As jury selection continued today, prosecutors and defense attorneys reached a plea deal which would put the men on probation and pay the contractor $5,500 - restitution for the cost of renting a replacement crane and inspecting the old one.
Both pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of criminal damaging in Franklin County Common Pleas Court.
Judge Stephen L. McIntosh suspended a 90-day jail sentence and placed both men on probation for one year.
"Everything I do is for my daughter," said Tenn, 53. He said he has not seen his 6-year-old daughter, Madison, since 2007 because his ex-wife moved to a small town in Illinois and filed a restraining order against him.
Tenn is the president of the U.S. chapter of Fathers4Justice. He said his protests around the country are aimed to raise awareness to the plight of split couples who face separation from their children.
He came to Columbus to help Fisher, 32, who has objected to Ohio's system of deciding child visitation issues. Fisher has fought for more visitation with his daughter, Demetra, 7.
"I get four days a month with my daughter," Fisher said, choking back tears. "Donald and I did something about it."
McIntosh told the men that although their issue is honorable, they could have caused a panic and did cause financial harm to local contractors at an Ohio State University parking garage site.