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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Oct. 14, 1999)
Not guilty pleas given in case
■ Three men suspected
of sexual assault on a 13
year-old plead not guilty.
By Jake Bleed
Senior staff writer
- Three men arrested on suspi
cion of having sex with a 13-year
old male runaway pleaded not
guilty in Lancaster County Court
on Wednesday to charges of sexual
assault on a child.
Police arrested David Petr, 21,
who lives on the 5200 block of
Tipperary Trail, after receiving a
call early Wednesday morning say
ing that Petr was having sex with a
runaway teen, police investigator
Kerry Crosby said.
“The allegations were that the
sexual contact was not by force, it
was consensual,” Crosby said.
After arresting Petr and speak
ing with the teen-ager, police
arrested two other men, Aaron
Brannigan, 20, and Gerald Jonak,
35, who both live on the 1800 block
of South 15th Street, for allegedly
paying the boy to have sex, Crosby
The men do not have criminal
histories, officer Katherine Finnell
The teen-ager used the money
the men allegedly gave him for sex
to buy food, money and lodging,
Petr was arrested for a sexual
encounter he allegedly had with the
teen on Dec. 10, 1998, in Petr’s car
near 86th and Adams streets.
Brannigan and Jonak were both
arrested for an alleged Sept. 28
incident in their apartment.
Petr met the teen-ager in down
town Lincoln about two months
after the boy left home, Crosby
said, then introduced him to
Brannigan and Jonak.
“It’s troubling,” Crosby said.
“There certainly are people out
there who will take advantage of
Crosby said the teen-ager had
run away from home more than
once and that, while homeless,
stayed with Petr at least part of the
Crosby said the teen-ager was
in school Wednesday and that the
investigation was not over.
“We hope to leave no stone
unturned here,” Crosby said.
“There’s always a possibility that
there are others out there.”
Crosby said police are looking
for 36 runaway children from
Lincoln ages 12 to 18. Twenty-three
have been missing for more than
two weeks as of Wednesday, Crosby
“It’s pretty difficult to find
these kids if they don’t want to be
found,” Crosby said.
Man flees after confronted
about stolen bike
A freshman University of
Nebraska-Lincoln student standing
in the lobby of Abel Residence Hall
on Tuesday evening saw a man walk
out of the building’s elevator pushing
the student’s bike, Sgt. Mylo Bushing
The student confronted the man,
who said he’d just bought the bike
from someone in the building’s base
ment for $ 10, Bushing said.
The student told police he’d
locked the bike, a Specialized Rock
Hopper Mountain Bike valued at
$650, in the basement earlier in the
evening. Bushing said.
The man, described as 5-foot-9,
weighing around 160 pounds, with
shoulder-length, dark-blonde hair
and a small beard, fled the residence
hall after being confronted, Bushing
Man arrested after running
naked down alley
Lincoln police arrested a 28-year
old Lincoln man after finding him
running up and down an alley
Tuesday completely naked, officer
Katherine Finnell said.
Police allege Travis Schaub
assaulted his girlfriend and then left
the apartment the couple shared in
the 1300 block of South 26th Street,
took off his clothes and began run
ning up and down an alley between
25'" and 26th streets and A and B
streets, Finnell said.
Schaub resisted officers trying to
arrest him, Finnell said. He was ulti
mately arrested on suspicion of
domestic assault, indecent exposure
and resisting arrest.
Finnell did not know if Schaub’s
girlfriend was injured or if drugs or
alcohol were involved.
Compiled by senior staff writer
Researchers, administrators prepare for Y2K problems
■ Precautions taken to
protect research projects as
the new year approaches.
By Michelle Starr
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
researchers might need to take precau
tions as the new year approaches, if
any of the impending Y2K worries are
Probable cause for alarm exists if
the new year interrupts utility services,
said Marsha R. Torr, Vice Chancellor
“One just has to look into a crystal
ball and think of the possibilities that
could occur,” she said.
Because the impact ofY2K cannot
be calculated, research projects depen
dent on uninterrupted light, heat or
electricity will be suspended or
rescheduled by Dec. 24 at 5 p.m.
Researchers are advised to turn off
electrical equipment in case the soft
ware might fail during the rollover
from 1999 to 2000, Torr said. It is also
important to back up data on comput
UNL’s system generators will be
able to provide electricity to only one
or two campus facilities on east cam
pus, Torr said.
Torr said she suggested eliminat
ing the use of laboratory fume hoods if
possible and also moving all chemi
cals to safe storage to reduce the accu
mulation of hazardous fumes in case
of ventilator shutdown.
“I don’t think a problem is very
likely. But we want to be prepared just
in case,” said Brenda Osthus, director
of Environmental Health and Safety.
“It’s going to take faculty to think
about their research. It’s a case by case
process,” Torr said.
If researchers will be affected by a
utilities shut-down, Torr said they
I don’t think a problem is very likely. But we
want to be prepared just in case!'
director of Environmental Health and Safety
should contact the research office by
Some projects might be impossi
ble to reschedule, but she said
researchers should think about the
problems that could occur, especially
if plants or animals are involved in
“In reality, Y2K should be looked
at more as a preparation for any time,
any power outage...not just Y2K,”
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