Judge denies motion by woman in obscene material trial

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A federal judge this morning denied a motion to suppress statements made by a Donora woman charged with transmitting obscene materials.

Karen Fletcher is charged with six counts of sending lewd stories, depicting the rape and killing of children, on the Internet.

Ms. Fletcher ran what was known as the "Red Rose" Web site, where she posted her fictional stories.

She charged subscribers -- there were only 29 -- $10 per month to belong to the site.

At a hearing yesterday before U.S. District Judge Joy Flowers Conti, Ms. Fletcher's defense attorney tried to argue that when his client was interviewed by FBI agents in February 2005, she should have been read her Miranda rights, warning her that what she said could be used against her.

But the two FBI agents who interviewed her said at the time that they weren't even sure that what Ms. Fletcher was doing was a crime.

"She did ask as we were leaving if she was in trouble and about her First Amendment rights," testified Special Agent Christopher Cantrell. "I told her I didn't know, because I didn't."

More details in tomorrow's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.


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