October 21, 2014

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Man’s lawyer argues Facebook post was free speech

MEDINA — The 20-year-old Columbia Station man accused of using social media to cheer on the gunman who killed 20 children and six adults at the Newtown, Conn., elementary school is asking that a criminal charge filed against him be dismissed, citing free-speech protections.

Medina police charged Joseph W. Resovsky with inducing panic after he posted “im so happy someone shot up all those little (expletives). VIVA LA SCHOOL SHOOTINGS!!!!” on Dec. 14, the day of the killings.

Resovsky filed a motion Wednesday in Medina Municipal Court asking Judge Dale Chase to dismiss the charge, a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.

“This charge clearly abridges the Defendant’s freedom of speech and quite possibly freedom of the press as this post was published on Facebook,” Resovsky, who is representing himself in the case, wrote in the motion.

Resovsky argued that his Facebook post did not cause a panic, and therefore, did not violate Ohio law.

“This action, while in bad taste, in no way constitutes an offense,” he wrote.

“The Defendant is permitted to express his feelings publicly. This right is guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Ohio Constitution.”

Resovsky’s motion also argues that the Medina Municipal Court does not have jurisdiction in his case, because he wrote the Facebook post in Lorain County, not Medina County.

An arraignment hearing is scheduled Jan. 9.

Contact reporter Kiera Manion-Fischer at (330) 721-4049 or kfischer@medina-gazette.com.