Did a former substitute teacher commit a crime when she showed Magnet Releasing’s The ABCs of Death to several Spanish classes at East High School in Columbus, Ohio?
This is what a Franklin County jury must decide after she showed the movie filled with graphic sex and violence to five of her classes.
Sheila Kearns, 58, went on trial yesterday in Common Pleas Court on five felony counts of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, says The Columbus Dispatch.
Defense attorney Geoffrey Oglesby told the jury in his opening statement that Kearns had her back to the screen during the showings of ‘The ABCs of Death’ and was unaware of the graphic nature of the movie, which she thought was in Spanish.
“It was a mistake that the state wants to turn into a crime,” he said.
Kearns, of Miller Avenue on the South Side, showed the movie on April 11, 2013, to students ranging in age from 14 to 18 during five class periods, Assistant Prosecutor Kacey Chappelear said. Some of the students are expected to testify during the trial.
Kearns tried to fast-forward through the movie when an assistant principal walked into the room, but instead caused the movie to pause “with bare female breasts on the screen,” Chappelear said.
Chappelear said the movie contains graphic violence and explicit sex, including “full frontal nudity, masturbation, ejaculate, feces and vomit.”
Although available on Netflix, the movie “is not by any means appropriate for minors,” she said. Movie websites label it as NR — Not Rated.
Chappelear told the jury of 10 men and two women that they must decide whether the movie is harmful to juveniles and, if so, whether it fits the definition of obscenity under Ohio law.
Each of the charges is punishable by up to one year in prison and a fine of $2,500. However, there is a presumption of probation for the charges, which are low-level felonies.
You’ll find the full story at the above link.