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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Love-sick teen not convicted

For posting comments such as "I love you," "we need to be together," and "I will never stop trying to talk to you" in a 14-year-old girl's MySpace profile, an 18-year-old man was charged by New York state prosecutors with "aggravated harassment and endangering the welfare of a child," a Wired News blog reports. But a New York City criminal court disagreed with the charge. In his ruling, Judge Michael Gerstein wrote that, "when teenagers fall in love, as song lyrics and studies show, they are more likely to exhibit almost manic behaviors, take risks, act compulsively, and sometimes pursue, with reckless abandon, the objects of their affection. While the actions of a love-struck teenager may well be foolish, reckless, or otherwise acts which might not be expected from a mature adult, they are not, without more, elevated to crimes." Internet law blogger Declan McCullagh added that the New York law also violates the First Amendment, which "protects against even annoying speech," and New York State's constitution.

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