The University of Arkansas will have to pay $33,120 in attorneys fees to a preacher who sued the school
over alleged free speech violations.
U.S. District Judge Jimm Larry Hendren rejected Gary Don
Bowman's request for $75,000 in attorneys fees, instead awarding him the lesser amount Wednesday. University attorneys had opposed the request, saying it was excessive.
Bowman, of Cherokee County, Okla., sued the university in
October 2003, saying the school policy of allowing him only five days to preach on campus was illegal.
At trial, Hendren agreed with the university's defense
arguments, and Bowman appealed the ruling to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The appeals court in April said the five-day ban was unconstitutional and it ordered the university to revise the policy.
While on campus, Bowman preached outside the Student Union.
Witnesses in a trial on his lawsuit said Bowman had called students "sluts," "whores," and "fags" and told them they were going to hell because they participated in fraternities and sororities.
Bowman preached on the Fayetteville campus twice in 1998 and returned to the school in 2000. By then, the university had imposed restrictions on when non-university entities could use school facilities, including spaces traditionally regarded as public forums.
(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)