Did you know that you could be jailed for trash talking someone on Facebook? Well, apparently, when the ex-husband you’re badmouthing is a sheriff’s deputy, you can find yourself behind bars.
According to CNN, this was the case for Anne King, who landed in jail after posting some unflattering words about her former partner, Corey King, on the social network.
In January 2015, Corey King allegedly refused to drop off some medicine for the pair’s children on his way to work. As a result, Anne King took to Facebook to vent her frustration.
"That moment when everyone in your house has the flu and you ask your kid's dad to get them (not me) more Motrin and Tylenol and he refuses," she wrote, adding that she felt “overwhelmed.”
Some of her friends responded in the comments section of the post, including Susan Hines, who called Corey King a “POS” (piece of sh*t) and said, “Give me an hour and check your mailbox. I’ll be GLAD to pick up the slack.”
When Corey King learned of the post, he demanded that Anne King take it down. When she refused, he posted a screenshot on his own account. He later filed an incident report and requested an arrest warrant for his ex-wife because of her “derogatory statements.”
The arrest warrant claimed that the “subject [Anne King] did, without a privilege to do so and with intent to defame another, communicate false matter which tends to expose one who is alive to hatred, contempt, or ridicule, and which tends to provoke a breach of peace."
The following day, a Washington County court magistrate put out warrants for the arrests of Anne King and Hines. The two friends were charged with “criminal defamation of character” and spent approximately four hours in jail before posting $1,000 bail.
A state-court judge later determined there were no grounds for the arrest and dropped the case.
"I don't even know why we're here," the judge reportedly said.
Although the initial incident occurred more than three years ago, Anne King has filed a lawsuit against her ex and his colleague for violating her constitutional rights.
Apparently, the law Corey King claimed his ex broke is outdated. A 1982 Georgia Supreme Court ruling determined that charging someone with criminal defamation is unconstitutional, therefore, so was Anne King's arrest.
"We feel very good about our position because the law upon which [King] was arrested had been declared unconstitutional 30 years ago," attorney Ken Hodges, who is representing Anne King, said.
While CNN noted that Corey King did not comment on the case, he is quoted in a deposition as saying, "I don't feel as though the portrayal of my fatherhood was truthful as what I do for my children and what I have done for my children as long as they have been alive."
Additionally, Corey King maintained that he was not actually responsible for Anne King’s arrest, and he deferred the blame to Magistrate Judge Ralph Todd, who issued the warrants. But Todd was quoted in a deposition as saying that “nobody ever notified” him that the charge “didn’t have any validity.”
It’s now up to a federal judge to decide if the case will go to trial. However, Hodges said he hopes the court will “hold those accountable who are going to use their positions of power over those who have no power.”
Anne King is suing for compensatory and punitive damages along with compensation for all legal fees.
It is clear Corey King's actions were a flagrant abuse of power that came out of spite for his ex-wife and shame that she exposed his neglect of their sick children that day to all of her Facebook followers.
He was embarrassed and wanted to get back at her, so he used his position to do so. However, he took the issue entirely too far. What kind of respectable man willingly puts the mother of his children behind bars? Furthermore, he manipulated the law and his colleagues to carry out the vindictive stunt.
Not only should he be ordered to pay the damages Anne King is seeking in her lawsuit, but he should be reprimanded by the department for misusing his role as a trusted member of law enforcement.
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