Tag Archives: obscenity

Man faces charges in connection with disappearance of Rosie O’Donnell’s teen daughter

The owner of the home where Rosie O’Donnell’s missing teen daughter was found last week has been arrested for allegedly having inappropriate online communications with the 17-year-old girl, according to authorities and the star’s spokeswoman.

Steven Sheerer faces charges of child endangerment and distribution of obscenity to a minor, authorities said Saturday.

The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office declined to identify the victim, citing her age. But a spokeswoman for O’Donnell said the case involves the star’s daughter Chelsea.

“He was involved with a minor, and Rosie’s concern has been and always will be the health, safety and well-being of her daughter,” Cindi Berger told The Associated Press. “Rosie is profoundly appreciative for the work the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office has done and the diligence of the local police.”

Sheerer, 25, was arrested Friday night at his home in Barnegat, police said. Chelsea O’Donnell had been found at the home Tuesday, hours after her mother posted a statement online saying the girl had left home on Aug. 11.

Authorities have said police went to the home and the person answering the door initially did not want to reveal Chelsea’s presence. Police said they told the occupant they would not leave until she came out; she then appeared and willingly left with police.

Sheerer’s arrest came several hours after authorities had obtained the girl’s cellphone with her mother’s consent, prosecutors said. They allegedly found “inappropriate communications” that had occurred over the last several weeks between Sheerer and the minor.

Authorities seized a computer and other digital equipment at Sheerer’s home when they executed a search warrant, but did not disclose further details.

It was not known Saturday if Sheerer had retained an attorney and a telephone number for him could not be located. His bail was set at $40,000 cash, and he faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted, authorities said.

Sheerer will likely be arraigned sometime next week, but a court date has not yet been scheduled, prosecutors said.

Court records show Sheerer pleaded guilty to drug offenses in separate cases in 2012 and 2013. In each case, he was sentenced to two years of probation.

Supreme Court rules against FCC indecency fines

The Supreme Court on June 21 unanimously threw out fines and other penalties against broadcast companies that violated the Federal Communications Commission policy regulating curse words and nudity on television airwaves.

But the Justices declined to issue a broad ruling on the constitutionality of the FCC’s indecency policy. Instead, the court concluded only that broadcasters could not have known in advance that obscenities uttered during awards show programs by Cher and Nicole Richie and a brief display of nudity on an episode of ABC’s “NYPD Blue” could give rise to penalties.

“The Commission failed to give Fox or ABC fair notice prior to the broadcasts in question that fleeting expletives and momentary nudity could be found actionably indecent,” said Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the unanimous court.

The justices said the FCC is free to revise its indecency policy, which is intended to keep the airwaves free of objectionable material during the hours when children are likely to be watching.

The agency’s chairman, Julius Genachowski, said the ruling “appears to be narrowly limited to procedural issues related to actions taken a number of years ago. Consistent with vital First Amendment principles, the FCC will carry out Congress’s directive to protect young TV viewers.”

In other High Court news, a decision on challenges to the Affordable Care Act is due before the summer break – probably on June 25.

Also, the attorneys for the GOP leadership in the U.S. House this week have confirmed their plans to ask the High Court to hear a case on the Defense of Marriage Act. A federal judge and appeals court panel in Boston have ruled elements of DOMA unconstitutional. House Republicans, defending the law in court because the Justice Department will not, wants a final ruling from the Supreme Court.

The case, if taken up by the Court, would not be heard before next fall.

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Man arrested for exposure in Walmart parking lot says store turns him on

A Louisiana man finds Walmart’s low prices arousing. Very arousing.

Travis Keen of Monroe, La., was cruising through his local Walmart’s parking lot in his Ford Taurus when a witness noticed that the 28-year-old man had taken “it” out. He explained to police that he “gets aroused” by Walmart stores, according to a Ouachita Parish police report. The report states:

“I asked Keen what he was doing in the parking lot. Keen stated he was trying to see if he fixed his power steering in his car. I advised Keen about what I was told by the witness. Keen then stated he did have his penis out because of past experiences he had at Wal-Mart. Keen stated when he comes to WalMart he gets aroused.”

Keen, who has no prior criminal history, was booked on obscenity charges. He’s being held on $5,000 bail.