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Van Doren Gets Suspended Sentence After Guilty Plea to Perjury

Jan. 17, 1962 - Charles Van Doren (pictured) and nine other former contestants on rigged T.V. quiz shows pleaded guilty today to perjury charges in New York Special Sessions Court. They received suspended sentences from Justice Edward F. Breslin, who said the humiliation was evident in their faces. The court could have imposed prison terms up to three years along with fines of $500 on each. The defendants had been among 20 persons accused of second-degree perjury, a misdemeanor, in telling a grand jury they had not been coached on questions and answers prior to appearing on such television shows as “Twenty-One” and “Tic Tac Dough.” Asked by a reporter if he had learned any moral from his experience, Mr. Van Doren replied: “That’s for you to say. All I want to do is just go home and try to forget the whole thing.” Late in 1958, Mr. Van Doren denied he had received advance answers to difficult questions on the quiz show. A year later, he appeared before a Congressional investigation committee in Washington and admitted he had been coached.

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