Canadian writer sentenced for border incident conviction

SFF Chronicles News

Well-Known Member
Oct 20, 2013
28th April 2010 08:12 PM

Elaine Frei


Canadian science fiction writer and marine-mammal biologist Peter Watts, who was found guilty by a Port Huron, Michigan jury on 19 March of resisting and obstructing a US border officer when he exited his vehicle during a US exit search while attempting to re-enter Canada last December, was sentenced by the court on 26 April.

Watts was given 60 days in jail but the sentence was suspended after he paid $1,628 in fines, fees and court costs. Prosecutors had asked for 180 days in jail, and Watts could have received up to two years on the conviction.

Watts contended that he did nothing wrong when he exited his vehicle at the border crossing to ask about the process of the search, with which he said he was unfamiliar as a Canadian citizen.

However, when he did not return to his vehicle as requested by the officer, Watts was arrested and charged with resisting and assaulting the guard.

While Watts, who is nominated this year for a Hugo Award for his novelette “The Island”, will not spend any time in jail, the felony conviction will prevent him from entering the US again.

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