Woman sentenced for Web site with 'obscene' stories

A Pennsylvania woman is sentenced on obscenity charges for running a Web site featuring sexual and violent stories.

A U.S. woman has been sentenced to five years of probation, including six months of home detention, and forfeiture of her computer after pleading guilty Thursday to obscenity charges for running a Web site that featured text stories that were sexual and violent in nature.

Karen Fletcher, 56,of Donora, Pennsylvania, owned and operated the Web site, Red Rose Stories, which featured stories describing sexual molestation and violence against children. Other stories included torture, rape and murder of children, and Fletcher sold memberships to her site, where members could get full stories, the U.S. Department of Justice said.

Fletcher, using the pen name Red Rose, wrote most of the stories herself, the DOJ said. Some of the stories were available as audio files, but the site didn't include photos, according to press reports.

Fletcher reportedly was abused as a child and started the site as a form of therapy, according to news reports.

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation ordered the site closed in late 2005. Some constitutional lawyers have questioned the prosecution of Fletcher, saying many pieces of popular literature have contained similar descriptions of abuse or murder.

Fletcher pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania in Pittsburgh to six counts of using an interactive computer service to distribute obscene materials. She must serve the first six months of her probation under home detention and pay a US$1,000 fine, Judge Joy Flowers Conti ruled.

Mary Beth Buchanan, the U.S. attorney in the Western District of Pennsylvania, has filed obscenity charges against several defendants.

Buchanan "has gone on a rampage trying to stamp out expression that doesn't meet her standards of morality," Marc John Randazza, a law professor at the Barry University School of Law in Orlando, wrote on his blog.

Randazza, who teaches about free speech rights and other legal issues, acknowledges that the content of Red Rose Stories was shocking, but he suggested the U.S. Constitution protects fictional stories. "If you believe in the Constitution, and you believe in what this country means, you can NOT believe that any American should ever face prison for writing fiction -- no matter what the subject matter of that fiction might be," he wrote in a blog post.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Grant Gross

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?