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Breaking point

Maine mother explains why she ‘committed a crime’ and stole dozens of Donald Trump signs

October 26, 2016

Betta Stothart, a 52-year-old mother from Falmouth, Maine, was hanging out with two other mothers when the conversation turned to the hordes of Trump signs someone had put up along the median strip of their “version of Main Street.” Feeling “assaulted” by the sheer volume of the closely clustered signs, the women jumped into Stothart’s Volkswagen and within 20 minutes had taken down 40 signs from along the strip. As they were preparing to leave, they were spotted by a police officer who told them that what they were doing was illegal. The next day, Stothart received a summons — the man to whom the signs belonged, the chairman of a political action committee supporting Donald Trump in Maine, was pressing charges.

While Stothart is only facing, at worst, a fine of up to $250 dollars for taking down the signs, she said she wanted to explain what it was that caused her to “momentarily [snap].” More than a decade ago, Stothart was working at a nonprofit when she was approached by a married board member who began calling to talk with her about personal and board-related matters over a period of several months. Then, out of the blue, he propositioned her, telling her that since she wasn’t “the marrying type of woman” and that he “never [saw her] having a family of [her] own,” that she should agree to a relationship where he flew her across the globe to exclusive resorts — in exchange for sex.

Afraid of offending one of her organization’s largest donors, Stothart told him she needed “to think about it.” A few days of silence later, he called back to tell her he had “made a mistake.” Stothart wanted to tell him “to go to hell.” Instead, though, she held her tongue and told only her boyfriend — who later became her husband — about the incident. “These are the kinds of compromises women are put into by men who abuse power,” wrote Stothart in The Boston Globe. “This is the source of my rage against Donald Trump. It’s why I committed a crime.”

Read the full story at The Boston Globe.


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