By David Irvin: CNJ staff writer
Lawyers for a Clovis man charged with distribution of sexually explicit material to minors for placing two nude she-devil stickers on his car have filed a civil motion in state court asking for declarations on the issue.
Specifically, the American Civil Liberties Union is asking the court to declare that displaying the stickers is protected under the state constitution, that Dean Young, 31, did not violate the statute in question and that the stickers are not harmful to minors.
“It appears that he was charged with this crime because the police officer in question didn’t like the way Young was expressing his opposition to the ban on Sunday liquor sales,” said Peter Simonson of the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico.
Simonson went on to express his concern that those who impose their morals on communities are emboldened by the current presidential administration.
A Clovis police detective cited Young in December for distribution of sexually explicit materials to minors for the stickers on his car. The stickers depict cartoon characters involved in what some say is a sexual act.
Young was advised to take the stickers off, and he refused.
District Attorney Matt Chandler said on Wednesday that the “complaint for declaratory relief” filed by Young and his lawyers is simply his compliance with the notice given to Young in magistrate court on Feb. 18, which provided he must let a judge rule on whether the stickers are offensive.
Chandler said Young has the right to file this motion anywhere in New Mexico. Young and his attorneys chose to file the motion before Judge Carol Vigil in Santa Fe, ACLU officials said.
Chandler is listed as the defendant on the complaint filed by Young.
“The police officer didn’t cite Dean Young because of the devil stickers, he cited Dean Young because it is a pornographic sticker,” Chandler said.
Young’s lawyer, George Bach, said the district attorney’s determination that the material was harmful to minors is why Chandler is listed as the defendant.
The issue could be put before the court in the next couple of months, Bach said.
Authorities have said a Clovis police detective’s young son saw the stickers on Young’s car at a Clovis restaurant in December, which led to the allegation of distributing sexually oriented material to minors.
Young went to court on Feb. 18 but a magistrate judge dismissed the charges without prejudice on the grounds that Young was not given sufficient notice the stickers are considered offensive.
State statute 30-37-2(A), the statute under which Dean Young was cited, reads as follows:
“It is unlawful for a person to knowingly sell, deliver, distribute, display for sale, or provide to a minor or knowingly to possess with intent to sell, deliver, distribute, display for sale or provide to a minor: A. any picture, photograph, drawing, sculpture, motion picture film or similar visual representation or image of a person or portion of the human body, or any replica, article or device having the appearance of either male or female genitals which depicts nudity, sexual conduct, sexual excitement or sado-masochistic abuse and which is harmful to minors …”
Source: New Mexico State Library