Case against man who texted photo of his
tattooed genitals dismissed
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[February 25, 2014]
By David Beasley
ATLANTA, Ga. (Reuters) — A man accused of
texting an unsolicited picture of his tattooed genitals to a married
mother of young children did not commit a crime under a Georgia state
nudity law, the state's Supreme Court ruled on Monday.
Charles Lee Warren faced up to three years in prison after being
indicted under a 1970 Georgia law that makes it illegal to send
unsolicited nude photographs by mail without a proper warning on the
outside of the envelope.
Prosecutors said he texted the picture of his tattooed penis in
October 2012 to a woman who then complained to police. According to
prosecutors, Warren's genitals were tattooed with the phrase,
"STRONG E nuf 4 A MAN BUT Made 4 A WOMAN."
The Georgia Supreme Court said the state law did not cover photos
sent electronically through a cell phone text message, and justices
dismissed the criminal charge in a unanimous decision.
Legislation proposed last year to amend the law to include pictures
transmitted electronically did not pass, according to Georgia
General Assembly records.
The state has no other law governing these types of cases, said
Lauren Kane, spokeswoman for Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens.
"We respectfully accept the decision of the Georgia Supreme Court,"
Cherokee County District Attorney Shannon Wallace, whose office
prosecuted the texting case, said in a statement.
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The defendant's attorney, Donald Roch, also challenged the law on
the ground that it violated his client's First Amendment guarantee
of free speech, but the court did not address that constitutional
"Obviously, we're pleased with the ruling," Roch said.
(Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Sophie Hares)
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