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[BKARTS] Four men plead not guilty in theft of rare books

Four men plead not guilty in theft of rare books

Associated Press

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Four men have pleaded not guilty to charges that they stole
rare books from the Transylvania University library.

Warren C. Lipka, Spencer W. Reinhard, Charles T. Allen II and Eric J. Borsuk
entered the pleas Thursday in federal court. The Lexington men, all 20, were
arrested Feb. 11 and were indicted by a grand jury earlier this month. They
are charged with robbery, conspiracy and theft of major artworks.

If convicted, each could face 75 years in prison, a $1.25 million fine and
15 years of supervised release.

U.S. District Judge Jennifer Coffman set a May 16 trial date for the men,
but attorneys for Lipka and Borsuk said they thought a deal with federal
prosecutors could be reached before then. Attorneys for Allen and Reinhard
declined comment.

Transylvania is a private school with about 1,100 students. Its library
contains numerous rare volumes.

The men are accused of taking several items from the library on Dec. 16,
including a first edition of Charles Darwin's book, "The Origin of Species
by Means of Natural Selection," which was published in 1859 and in which he
first discussed his theory of evolution.

Also taken were a two-volume natural history published in the 1500s, a
collection of 20 pencil sketches by John James Audubon done in the 1850s and
an illuminated manuscript written in 1425 and hand painted in color.

The men traveled to New York two days after the theft, according to the
federal indictment, and unsuccessfully tried to sell the stolen goods to
Christie's auction house on Dec. 21.


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