Field of Dreams vandal on probation

A Dyersville man told a Dubuque County courtroom on Monday he made a bad decision when he drove his car onto the "Field of Dreams" movie site. Austin Pape vandalized the ball field in January, causing more than $5,000 damage.

He originally faced up to five years in prison for second degree criminal mischief and reckless driving.

However, he entered a guilty plea on criminal mischief, a class D felony, and prosecutors dropped the reckless driving charge.

Dubuque County Attorney told judge Michael Shubatt that it was clear Pape made a bad decision and had owned up to it. He also said Field of Dreams Chief Preservationist Denise Stillman said she didn't want Pape's life ruined because of his bad decision. Stillman has since passed away.

Pape also spoke to the judge, saying he wanted to be a part of his community and not lose his right to vote. His attorney, Todd Klapatauskus, mentioned that Pape had received a significant amount of public shaming.  He also noted Pape had paid restitution and completed 50 hours of community service in Dyersville.

Shubatt told Pape he's confident he'd learned from his mistake. Shubatt agreed to defer judgment on the criminal mischief charge and for Pape to serve two to five years probation. Pape will also have to pay a $750 dollar fine.

Klapatauskus said he and his client had no comment after the hearing.

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