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Dan Choi avoids prison, fined $100 for White House protest

WASHINGTON — A gay West Point graduate discharged from the military for revealing his sexual orientation has been fined $100 in case resulting from his arrest during a 2010 White House demonstration.

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office says Dan Choi was convicted and fined Thursday by a judge hearing his case.

Choi faced a possible sentence of six months in jail or a $5,000 fine for disobeying a lawful order to disperse from the fence.

Choi was one of 13 people arrested after they handcuffed themselves to the White House fence on Nov. 15, 2010, to protest the now repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy banning gays in the U.S. military. His trial began in 2011 but was put on hold during an appeal.

Choi, dressed in a military uniform, paced the courtroom on Thursday, serving as his own lawyer.

He was alternately emotional and angry as his trial resumed. His erratic demeanor swung from emotional outbursts at the lectern to belligerent confrontations with a U.S. Park Police officer and the federal prosecutor, according to The Washington Post.

“Please remember where you are,” Magistrate Judge John M. Facciola cautioned after Choi used vulgar slang. “That may be appropriate in the barracks. It’s not appropriate here.”

The other demonstrators had previously pleaded guilty to the charge of criminal misdemeanor, but had their sentences deferred.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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