Chinese student breaching security at U.S. Newark Airport accepts sentence

09:24, March 10, 2010      

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Jiang Haisong, a Chinese student of the Rutgers University who breached security to give a farewell kiss to his girlfriend at the Newark Liberty International Airport on Jan. 3, receives interviews from reporters outside a Newark court, New Jersey, the United States, March 9, 2010. (Xinhua/Wu Kaixiang)

Chinese student Jiang Haisong, who breached security in January at Newark Liberty International Airport, New Jersey, on Tuesday accepted the sentence at Newark City Court, which sentenced Jiang 100 hours of community service and 500 U.S. dollars of fine.

According to the judge, Jiang will also pay for 158 dollars of court costs.

Jiang expressed satisfaction with the sentence and pledged to pay the fine starting Wednesday.

"I want to deeply apologize to those (affected) for my breach," Jiang said outside of the court. "I just wanted to spend more time with my girlfriend. I made a big mistake, and I also learned a big lesson."

Jiang, a 28-year-old doctoral student in a joint molecular biosciences program at Rutgers University, admitted to a judge that he passed under a rope and entered a restricted area at the airport Jan. 3 to spend about 20 extra minutes with his girlfriend, who was leaving for California after visiting him in New Jersey.

Eric Bruce, Jiang's lawyer, told the court and the media waiting outside the courthouse that the sentence was "reasonable" as Jiang was not intended to cause "inconvenience" for the travelers.

The misdemeanor charge would not affect Jiang's immigration status, and he would remain at Rutgers on a student visa, said Bruce, adding Jiang was due to graduate in the spring and was part of a research team searching for a cure for glaucoma.

Bruce described Jiang as a painfully shy, "lovesick" man who made a mistake. Jiang and his girlfriend were "still together and still very much in love," his lawyer said.

"The bottom line in this case is that the consequences of Mr. Jiang's actions on Jan. 3 were very serious -- we recognize that," Bruce said. "Today's resolution will allow something good to come out of this and allow Mr. Jiang to get back to his studies and get on with his life."

Jiang pleaded not guilty Feb. 9 to a misdemeanor charge of defiant trespassing.

The security breach was caught on surveillance video, which helped authorities track down the suspect. The video showed a man in a tan jacket waiting at the exit-way where passengers from arriving planes leave the terminal on January 3. He was arrested Jan. 8.


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