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Woman banned from national parks, public lands after defacing 7 parks

By Shawn Price
A photo of Casey Nocket posted to her Instagram account @creepytings, which has since been deleted. Nocket defaced National Park features in California, Colorado, Oregon and Utah, posting pictures of the graffiti and selfies on social media. Photo courtesy Modern Hiker
A photo of Casey Nocket posted to her Instagram account @creepytings, which has since been deleted. Nocket defaced National Park features in California, Colorado, Oregon and Utah, posting pictures of the graffiti and selfies on social media. Photo courtesy Modern Hiker

FRESNO, Calif., June 20 (UPI) -- A Southern California woman pleaded guilty on Monday to seven misdemeanor counts of damaging government property after she painting graffiti on rock surfaces in seven national parks.

Casey Nocket, 23, of San Diego, used acrylic paints and felt markers to draw faces on national park features in California, Colorado, Oregon and Utah over the course of a month in 2014.

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U.S. Magistrate Judge Sheila K. Oberto banned Nocket from 524 million acres of public lands including national parks and lands administered by the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management and Army Corps of Engineers for the duration of her two-year probation. She is also sentenced to 200 hours of community service and might also pay restitution.

Nocket left graffiti at Telescope Peak in Death Valley National Park; Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado; Colorado National Monument in Colorado; Canyonlands National Park, Utah; Zion National Park, Utah; the beginning of the John Muir Trail in Yosemite National Park, and Crater Lake National Park, Ore.

She then posted selfies of it, signed "Creepytings 2014," on social media, with website Modern Hiker providing the first reporting on it. Her social media accounts have since been deleted.

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"The defendant's defacement of multiple rock formations showed a lack of respect for the law and our shared national treasures," said acting U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert. "The National Park Service has worked hard to restore the rock formations to their natural state, completing clean-up efforts in five of the seven national parks."

Death Valley and Crater Lake clean-up efforts are expected to be complete as weather conditions allow.

Nature lovers launched an online petition to find and prosecute Nocket.

Charles Cuvelier, chief of law enforcement for the National Park Service, said Nocket's sentencing points out how important the public can be in gathering evidence of illegal behavior in parks.

"The resolution of this case sends a message to those who would consider such inappropriate behavior going forward," he said.

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