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Man acquitted of disrupting public service for fake Facebook page

A 27-year-old man has been acquitted of charges related to the creation of a fake Facebook page made as a parody of the Parma Police Department's official page on the social media site.

The man was arrested while exiting a convenience store in March. Afterward, he was charged with disrupting public service by a grand jury. That charge was a fourth-degree felony, and if convicted, the man faced up to 18 months in jail.

He spent three days in jail, and told Cleveland.com, "My roommate called in to tell my boss that I had been arrested, and they said don't bother, we saw it on TV. People were coming and wanting to take my photograph, because I had been arrested for a felony."

Shortly before the man was arrested, police raided his apartment, seizing every type of electronic device, including cellphones, video consoles and laptops.

The man's attorney tried several times to have the case dismissed, but the judge refused. The case went to a jury after one day of testimony, and the jury acquitted the man of the charge.

Now the former defendant wants the items the police confiscated, and added that while the Facebook page was only made as a spoof to make his friends laugh, he now wants the police department to pay for what they did. He plans to file a lawsuit against the Parma Police Department for violating his civil rights.

Just because you are charged with a crime does not mean you are guilty or will be found guilty. The advice and guidance of an experienced criminal defense attorney can prove invaluable when fighting a criminal charge.

Source: cleveland.com, "Parma man acquitted on fake Facebook felony plans lawsuit (live interview)," John Harper, Aug. 14, 2016

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