COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A state appeals court on Thursday dismissed the guilty plea of a man imprisoned for writing fictitious stories of child torture and molestation.
Lawyers specializing in the First Amendment believe Brian Dalton was the first person in the United States successfully prosecuted for child pornography that involved writings, not images.
The 10th Ohio District Court of Appeals in Columbus ruled 3-0 to send the case of Dalton back to Franklin County Common Pleas Court.
Dalton, 24, of Columbus, pleaded guilty in July 2001 to pandering obscenity involving a minor, which falls under Ohio's pornography law. He later asked to withdraw the plea so he could fight the constitutionality of the law, but Franklin County Common Pleas Judge Nodine Miller refused. ACLU attorneys then appealed.
Miller sentenced Dalton to seven years, plus 1 1/2 years from a 1998 child pornography conviction because he violated probation by possessing the journal.