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An inept suitor who used salty language and an off-color joke in trying to win over a woman did not engage in criminal conduct, a judge has ruled. New York City Criminal Court Judge Robert M. Mandelbaum dismissed a charge of second-degree aggravated harassment against Richard Franco, finding that neither of the two poorly framed letters he wrote to his intended exhibited an intent to “harass, threaten, annoy or harm.” “The only inference reasonably drawn from the facts alleged is that [the] defendant acted in a misguided effort to woo the complaining witness,” Mandelbaum wrote. “But in the absence of any threats, the mere writing of a love letter, even when unrequited, is not criminal.” Franco introduced himself in his first letter as “Richard F. You know like: France, Funky Smell, [vulgarity].” He touted his attributes as a lover, writing that his foot massage “will relax you and will make u feel so good and comfortable that it’ll take you to another world.” Mandelbaum found that language in Franco’s second letter demonstrated a lack of intent “to pursue an unreceptive audience.” He said that the “defendant’s ineptitude, and even offensiveness, as a suitor is insufficient to establish the charged offense.”- New York Law Journal Professional woes Accused Washington madam Deborah Jeane Palfrey’s reliance on her media-loving civil forfeiture lawyer, Montgomery Blair Sibley, has caused much consternation in a federal courtroom in Washington. But Sibley’s law license now may be in jeopardy. A referee for the Florida Supreme Court has recommended that Sibley’s law license be suspended for three years for his failure to pay $100,000 in child support, for which he has already spent more than two months behind bars. Notably, referee Orlando Prescott wrote in a May 7 report that Sibley failed to show up for the final hearing on April 16, even though Prescott left messages and tried to find an amenable time. Sibley said that he simply couldn’t make it because he had already scheduled client meetings. The report goes to the Florida Supreme Court for a final decision. A suspension order is likely to result in similar, reciprocal discipline in Washington and New York, where Sibley is also licensed. But Sibley doesn’t believe that’s likely. He also doesn’t think it will stop him from representing Palfrey. “As you may gather, I see the world very differently than most everyone else,” he said. “I’ll work on Palfrey’s case until a federal judge tells me I can’t.” Asked which judge, Sibley replied, “His name is going to end in Roberts, as in Justice.”- Legal Times Bad munchies It was a big enough bummer for Kenneth Affolter when he was sentenced to more than five years in prison for making pot-laced treats and soft drinks. Now he faces the wrath of a candy giant. The Hershey Co. has sued Affolter, 40, for giving his marijuana goodies names like Stoney Rancher, Rasta Reese’s and Keef Kat. Each came in packaging similar to Hershey’s Jolly Rancher, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Kit Kat candies, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Hershey’s suit, filed in U.S. district court in San Jose, Calif., accuses Affolter of trademark infringement, trademark dilution and unfair competition. The company wants $100,000 in damages. Papers were served on Affolter while he was in a county jail awaiting transfer to state prison. His product line reportedly also included Buddafingers, Pot Tarts, Double Puff Oeo, Budtella and Toka-Cola.- Associated Press

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