When Phish return to the New York area on November 28 for the first of eight shows planned to celebrate their 20th anniversary, bassist Mike Gordon will no longer have child-endangerment charges dangling over his head.
On Friday morning (September 19), a judge for the District Court of Nassau County in Hempstead, New York, dropped all criminal charges from an incident last month, in which Gordon led a 9-year-old girl to an abandoned boathouse behind the Jones Beach Theater to take pictures of her (see [article id="1476993"]"Phish Bassist Arrested For Child Endangerment"[/article]). The judge's decision stemmed from a recommendation by the district attorney.
"We immediately moved to dismiss the charges," said Rick Hinshaw, public information officer for the Nassau district attorney. "While police had probable cause given the complaint, we didn't feel that there was substantial evidence to prove a crime beyond a reasonable doubt."
Gordon was in court to hear the judge's decision. The parents of the girl he was accused of endangering were not present, having previously announced that they didn't want to press charges.
"I'm glad all the charges against me have been dismissed and I can put this misunderstanding behind me," Gordon said in a statement. "I'm grateful for the support I've received from my friends and family."
Following the November 28 show in Uniondale, New York, Phish will play Philadelphia (November 29) and Albany (December 1) before a Boston show on December 2 that will mark the actual 20th anniversary of the group's first show at an ROTC dance at the University of Vermont. At the time, the bandmembers had just begun their freshman year at the school.
At the end of the year, Phish will travel to Florida for four nights in Miami, including a three-set New Year's Eve show. Earlier this year, the band's New Year's Eve performance was at Madison Square Garden in New York (see [article id="1459344"]"Phish Return To The Stage After Two-Year Break"[/article]). The Miami shows will mark the band's first appearances in Florida since its 1999 Millennium Festival, which brought 80,000 Phish heads to the Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation.