Explicit Minn. Craigslist revenge post conviction overturned
MINNEAPOLIS - A man who posted sexually explicit advertisements and claimed they were from his ex-girlfriend on Craigslist had his conviction overturned Tuesday in an appellate court.
MINNEAPOLIS – A man who posted sexually explicit advertisements and claimed they were from his ex-girlfriend on Craigslist had his conviction overturned Tuesday in an appellate court.
Timothy Robert Turner, 50, of Mora, was found guilty of two counts of defamation of character in May 2014, but a three-judge panel of the Minnesota Court of Appeals overturned the decision, calling the state's defamation laws a violation of Turner's First Amendment rights.
In her decision, Judge Denise D. Reilly wrote those in Minnesota can be charged for making true statements or statements without malice.
"Because the statute penalizes protected, as well as unprotected speech, it is unconstitutionally over-broad and in violation of the First Amendment protections," she wrote.
Turner's actions were irrelevant to the court's decision, as only the constitutionality of the law was under question. Reilly did call Turner's actions "reprehensible and defamatory" in her 13-page summary.
According to court documents, Turner posted the ads in retaliation for an argument he had with a former girlfriend-identified as C.M.-on August 30, 2013. The postings were sexually explicit and written by Turner to appear to be posted by C.M. and her underage daughter. Because their cellphone numbers were included in the postings, several men contacted C.M. and her daughter to solicit them for sex.
Turner admitted to making the postings, which led to C.M.'s daughter receiving pornographic images via text message. He pleaded not guilty in district court after a motion to dismiss the charges was denied, and was found guilty of both counts.
Turner had been sentenced on May 21, 2014 to a fine and 30 days in jail, but his sentence was stayed pending this appeal.