CONNECTICUT: Anitsemitic Facebook Posts Lead to Arrest


(Greewich Time) A 22-year-old man was arrested Monday after police said he wrote a series of anti-Semitic Facebook posts targeting a female.

Parker Ross, of 35 View Street West, was charged with intimidation based on bigotry or bias and second-degree harassment after turning himself in.

Police said a female victim, who identified herself as an acquaintance of Ross, contacted police in April to report several offensive Facebook messages referring to her that were posted on his Internet profile.

Lt. Kraig Gray, Police Department spokesman, did not release the comments but said the posts were "disturbing" and noted that at least one mentioned the Holocaust.

"The victim provided a print-out of the Facebook page," Gray said. "It clearly showed who it came from."

Gray said there were at least three postings that referenced the victim and were anti-Semitic. A message was left at Ross' residence seeking comment on the charges.

Gray said with Facebook and other social networking sites becoming so popular, they are more likely to become part of criminal investigations.

"Police have to move with the times and that may involve interactions taking place over the Internet," Gray said. "Police have to be aware of what is going on there as well."

While Gray said individuals have a right to free speech, there is a line regarding what types of offensive comments can be expressed that target a specific individual. "Where the line is between freedom of speech and harassment is evaluated on a case-by-case basis," Gray said.

Ross was released on a $500 bond. He is scheduled to appear in state Superior Court in Stamford Monday.

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