September 1, 2014

Medina
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Dismissal sought by prosecutor for Facebook charges

MEDINA — The Medina city prosecutor has filed a motion seeking dismissal of criminal charges against a Lorain County man who posted a Facebook message cheering on the Newtown, Conn., school gunman.

In December, Medina police charged Joseph W. Resovsky, 20, of Columbia Station, with inducing panic, a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.

(IMAGE COURTESY OF FACEBOOK)

The charges were filed a day after Resovsky posted on his Facebook home page, “im so happy someone shot up all those little (expletive). VIVA LA SCHOOL SHOOTINGS!!!!”

Resovsky posted the message Dec. 14, the day 20 children and six adults were fatally shot at Sandy Hook Elementary School. He told police he was tired of all the Facebook posts about the tragedy, saying he just wanted to see whether he could get comments, according to a police report.

The prosecutor’s motion to dismiss the case, filed last week, will be considered at a hearing scheduled for Jan. 25 before Medina Municipal Court Judge Dale H. Chase.

City Law Director Greg Huber said he expected the judge to dismiss the case, but he declined to explain the reasons for the dismissal request until the hearing.

The case drew the attention of the Ohio American Civil Liberties Union, which signed on to represent Resovsky.

ACLU lawyers said Resovsky’s comments, while in bad taste, were not a threat and, therefore, protected by the First Amendment.

Jeffrey Gamso, a Toledo attorney who volunteered to represent Resovsky for the Ohio ACLU, said the prosecutor’s office likely recognized that Resovsky didn’t commit a crime.

“We know that, and I guess they know it, too,” he said.

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