Published October 31, 2013
Citing the First Amendment, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals struck down a law that banned sexually explicit Internet communication between an adult and minor.
"Perverts will be free to bombard our children with salacious emails and text messages, and parents and law enforcement would be unable to stop it," state lawyers argued in the ruling, The Austin Statesman reported.
The state's highest court, however, upheld a law that banned sexual solicitation of minors.
Judge Cathy Cochran, who wrote the opinion, said the law was previously written in a way that covers a whole cornucopia of titillating talk. She pointed out that it would include "50 Shades of Grey" and Shakespeare"s "Troilus and Cressida." She mentioned that Janet Jackson's famous wardrobe malfunction during the Super Bowl would be improperly covered by the law.
The law she writes, "may protect children from suspected sexual predators before they ever express any intent to commit illegal sexual acts, but it prohibits the dissemination of a vast array of constitutionally protected speech and materials."
Mark Bennett, an attorney representing a Texas man who represented a 53-year-old accused of sending sexually explicit text messages to a teen, may see the charges dropped after the ruling.
"Parents have the job of dealing with this. This is not the government's job," Bennett told The Houston Chronicle. "Keep track of who your kids are communicating with and teach your kids what's appropriate and what's not."