Ex-Gymnast Avoids Shoplifting Trial

Wednesday, April 10th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. (AP) _ Former Olympic gymnast Olga Korbut was allowed to enter a pre-trial diversion program rather than be prosecuted on misdemeanor shoplifting charges, court documents filed Tuesday show.

Korbut, 46, paid $330 in program fees, completed a class in values and agreed to stay away from Publix grocery stores, the records show.

Korbut was arrested Jan. 31 and charged with stealing $19 worth of goods _ cheese, chocolate syrup, figs, a box of Earl Grey tea and seasoning mix _ from a Publix in Norcross, a northeastern suburb of Atlanta.

A court official said the Gwinnett County solicitor's office disposes of ``hundreds of misdemeanor cases'' in this way if, like Korbut, the defendant is a first-time offender.