BEACHWOOD, Ohio, Aug. 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Connick Law, LLC and its trial team of Gary A. Vick, Jr. and Edward Proctor are pleased to announce that Anthony Novak, 27, of Parma was acquitted Thursday at the Cuyahoga County Justice Center after a jury unanimously found that he did not violate the state's Revised Code of disrupting public service–a fourth-degree felony.
On March 2, 2016, Novak created a parody page on Facebook of the Parma Police Department's real page, copying the masthead and logo from the department's real Facebook page and making subtle changes such as replacing the slogan "We Know Crime" with "We No Crime" and copying a job posting but rewriting it to say "minorities are strongly encouraged not to apply," before taking down the page a day later after just six fake posts but not before the Parma Police Department fielded 10 calls about the page in a 12-hour period.
Citing that the page disrupted its dispatching center and that the comments left by others on the page were "derogatory" and "offensive," the Parma Police Department launched a widespread investigation into the parody page and the author of the content, securing search warrants used to obtain more than 3,000 pages from Facebook which lead to the arrest of Novak, where he stayed in jail for four days until his family could pay his bond of $7,500, on March 25, 2016, and the search Novak's house the following day and the confiscation of all electronic equipment, including a laptop, a Microsoft Xbox and a Sony PlayStation, belonging to Novak and his roommate.
During the indictment in April, Vick tirelessly tried to have the case dismissed on First Amendment grounds through a motion to dismiss before the judge denied the motion, sending the case to trial. But, thanks to Connick Law, LLC's trial team's aggressive defense of preparation and exceptional trial tactics and Anthony's determination to stand up to the Parma Police Department and the prosecutor's office and fight for his constitutional rights of free speech, justice prevailed.
In addition, Vick and Proctor will continue to fight for Novak, seeking to recover monetary damages for the Parma Police Department's violation of Anthony's First Amendment rights and to have the statute under which the City of Parma Police Department indicted him on ruled unconstitutional in Federal Court.
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SOURCE Connick Law, LLC