Men jailed for harassing manatee

Published: Saturday, January 19, 2008 at 3:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 19, 2008 at 3:00 p.m.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Two men who harassed a manatee in a canal, videotaped the encounter and posted it on a Web site were sentenced to prison Friday, after pleading guilty to violating the federal Endangered Species Act.

Charles V. Podesta, Jr., 20, will spend 30 days in federal prison and a year of supervised release, according to court documents. Karl F. Kuhn II, 19, was sentenced to 15 days in prison and a year of probation after his release.

Both Podesta and Kuhn have also been ordered to complete 100 hours of community service, and Podesta must post a public apology on his MySpace page.

A video posted on a MySpace page showed Podesta and Kuhn, both of Hollywood, harassing a manatee in a canal, authorities said. That is an Endangered Species Act violation.

Manatees have been on the state endangered list since 1979.

Messages left by The Associated Press with attorneys representing Podesta and Kuhn and with the state attorney's office were not immediately returned Friday.

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