Judge Penalizes Rap Fan With Beethoven and Bach

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A defendant had a hard time facing the music.

Andrew Vactor was facing a $150 fine for playing rap music too loudly on his car stereo in July. But a judge offered to reduce that to $35 if Vactor spent 20 hours listening to classical music by the likes of Bach, Beethoven and Chopin.

Vactor, 24, lasted only about 15 minutes, a probation officer said.

It wasn’t the music, Vactor said, he just needed to be at practice with the rest of the Urbana University basketball team.

“I didn’t have the time to deal with that,” he said. “I just decided to pay the fine.”

Champaign County Municipal Court Judge Susan Fornof-Lippencott says the idea was to force Vactor to listen to something he might not prefer, just as other people had no choice but to listen to his loud rap music.

“I think a lot of people don’t like to be forced to listen to music,” she said.

She’s also taped TV shows for defendants in other cases to watch on topics such as financial responsibility. As she sees it, they get the chance to have their fine reduced “and at the same time broaden their horizons.”

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