A convicted sex offender has lost his appeal after trying to discredit the police investigation that resulted in his arrest. So, what did 60-year old John Jacques believe was flawed in this investigation? The animated emoticons used by the police during their online chat were not presented as animations during the trial. No, really. This was what he based his appeal on. In a real, live court of law.
In late 2007, Jacques was arrested at a fast food restaurant after arranging a meeting with police, who had been posing as a 13-year old girl in a chat room. During their chat, the police used an animated emoticon that depicted a blushing smiley face, which, according to Jacques, signaled enticement on the part of the “girl” he was trying to seduce. Throughout their chat sessions, Jacques sent police pornographic videos and pictures while engaging in a sexually graphic conversation. Then, he arranged to meet at the aforementioned fast food restaurant and follow that up with a sleepover. So, he was arrested.
During the trial, the jury was issued transcripts of the chat sessions that included non-animated versions of the emoticons. They found Jacques guilty, and he was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Jacques called foul and appealed. On the basis of the emoticons not being shown as he saw them. Basically, he should not have been found guilty because the jury did not see the emoticons doing what he saw them do, which was “smiley blush” at him.
Jacques claims prosecutors withheld evidence when they failed to use a computer program that would have shown the jury animated emoticons, which he argued was “clear evidence of enticement.”
Because non-animated emoticons just don’t do anything for him sexually. But animated ones? That’s entrapment! John Jacques is notoriously vulnerable when it comes to animated emotions, with their blinking, come-hither looks, their irresistible animal magnetism … His lawyer should have known that, that incompetent slime!
Jacques also faults his attorney for not questioning the officer about the emoticons during cross-examination of his 2008 trial in La Crosse County Circuit Court.
“There is no possibility that additional questioning about the display of the emoticons’ animated features would have persuaded the jury to accept Jacques’ entrapment defense,” the court wrote.
Sorry, John Jacques. Maybe when you get a jury of people who have had their own sordid affairs with animated emoticons, you’ll have a fighting chance.
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