Baojing Li, Buddhist Nun, Refuses Plea Deal For Passing Out Beads


A Buddhist nun was arrested and charged with being an unlicensed vendor, a misdemeanor, just for handing out prayer beads on Canal Street and taking donations for her burned down house of worship, her lawyer claims. Baojing Li refused a non-criminal plea deal yesterday that would result in just one day of community service, instead demanding the case be dismissed “in the interest of justice.” The judge said he could not drop the case without the permission of the DA, who clearly needs to take a closer look at this case. Li came to New York after a fire that also destroyed her home in Georgia, and was passing out beads and taking contributions in a tin while wearing a long religious robe with a shaved head. Her lawyer, who is representing Li pro bono, laid it out: “If this was a Catholic nun in a habit giving out rosary beads, I can’t imagine a police officer in the City of New York arresting her.” [DNA Info]