12:19, April 04 262 0 abajournal.com

2018-04-04 12:19:11
Judge says statute used to charge local crime blogger is unconstitutionally vague

A Texas law used to charge a citizen blogger for releasing the name of a suicide victim is unconstitutionally vague, a Texas judge has ruled.

Judge Monica Zapata Notzon tossed the misuse of information charge against blogger Priscilla Villarreal last week, report the Texas Monitor, the Laredo Morning Times and MySanAntonio. Webb County prosecutors don’t plan to appeal the ruling, though the state could appeal.

Villarreal calls herself La Gordiloca, which means “crazy fat lady” in Spanish. She has more than 86,000 followers on Facebook, where she broadcasts news from the police scanner and crime scenes.

Villarreal was charged under a state law that makes it a felony to solicit or receive from a public servant nonpublic information with the intent to obtain a benefit.

Villareals’ lawyer, Joey Tellez, told MySanAntonio that Notzon didn’t enjoin enforcement of the law statewide and it can still be used in other prosecutions.

“The charges are dismissed, that portion of the statute is invalid, and the conduct she’s accused of is not against the law,” Tellez said.