- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 12, 2009

SANTA MONICA, CALIF. (AP) - A judge threw out a contempt-of-court conviction and ordered a new trial for an animal rights activist who was the voice of Lucy in several “Peanuts” TV specials, her lawyer said Thursday.

Pamelyn Ferdin faced up to five days in jail and a $1,000 fine until Wednesday, when Superior Court Judge John Segal voided her 2008 conviction. He scheduled a new trial for April 28, said attorney George Seide.

Ferdin, 50, was convicted of violating a court injunction that barred harassment of University of California, Los Angeles, faculty members who used animals in research.

A call by The Associated Press seeking comment from representatives of the University of California regents, who brought the case, was not immediately returned. The legal firm that represented the regents also did not immediately comment.

Last June, Ferdin demonstrated outside the home of a UCLA primate researcher and handed out fliers that included home addresses, phone numbers and photographs of some researchers, Seide said.

A previous injunction against other animal rights activists barred such activity. A judge found that Ferdin was acting “in concert” with them even though she wasn’t named in the injunction, Seide said.

At trial, Ferdin testified she had downloaded the flier from a Web site and wasn’t aware that the information fell under the injunction.

In fighting the conviction, Seide argued that Ferdin’s constitutional rights were violated because she wasn’t informed that she had the right to counsel and of her right against self-incrimination before she took the stand.

Ferdin was a child actress who made appearances on many TV shows in the 1960s and 1970s, including “The Brady Bunch” and “The Odd Couple.” She was the voice of Lucy on two 1969 specials, “A Boy Named Charlie Brown” and “It Was a Short Summer, Charlie Brown,” and 1971’s “Play It Again, Charlie Brown.”

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