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Court refuses to suppress statements in child-torture tales case

By The Associated Press
01.30.08

Editor’s note: The Associated Press reported that Karen Fletcher was sentenced to probation and house arrest after pleading guilty on Aug. 7, 2008, to violating federal obscenity law. She was sentenced to five years of probation, six months of house arrest and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine.

PITTSBURGH — A federal judge has refused to suppress statements made to FBI agents by a Pennsylvania woman charged with transmitting obscene materials on the Internet.

Karen Fletcher of Donora is accused of running a Web site known as "Red Rose" that published graphic, fictional stories about the torture and sexual abuse of children. Fletcher charged a monthly fee of $10 for her site, which had 29 subscribers, authorities said.

At a hearing, her lawyer argued that when the FBI interviewed Fletcher at her home in February 2005, she should have been told of her constitutional right against self-incrimination.

U.S. District Judge Joy Flowers Conti ruled yesterday that Fletcher had no reason to believe she was in custody during the interview and, therefore, a Miranda warning of her rights was not necessary.

Fletcher's attorneys also asked Conti to suppress evidence seized from Fletcher's home. They said the search warrant was too broad. Conti did not rule on that request.

Fletcher was charged with one count of obscenity for each of the six stories that involved the kidnapping, torture, sexual molestation and murder of children 9 years and younger.

Fletcher described her site as a "fantasy site" and told investigators she posts explicit stories about adults having sex with children, the FBI said in a search warrant affidavit.


Previous
Pa. woman charged with obscenity for online child-torture stories
Federal prosecutors say Web site contained excerpts of fictional stories about child sex, torture, murder that were available to all visitors. 09.28.06

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