Appeals Court: Criminal Defamation Law Is Unconstitutional
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The Minnesota Appeals Court says a state law that makes it illegal to defame someone is unconstitutional because it's too broad.
Tuesday's ruling comes in the case of a man who was convicted of criminal defamation. Timothy Turner admitted posting sexually explicit Internet ads in 2013 that appeared to be from his ex-girlfriend and her underage daughter. The postings led multiple men to contact both females for sex.
The appeals court says although Turner's conduct was reprehensible and defamatory, his conviction can't be upheld because the law is unconstitutional. The judges say the law penalizes truthful statements and doesn't require the state to prove actual malice.
Messages left with the Isanti County Attorney's Office weren't immediately returned. Turner's attorney says the appellate court made the right decision.