CHICAGO — Cyberstalking charges have been dismissed against a Bloomington man based on a recent decision by the First District Appellate Court that ruled the state's cyberstalking law is unconstitutional.
Kevin Simpson, 50, was charged in June 2015 with cyberstalking and telephone harassment involving a Bloomington police Lt. Tim Stanesa. Charges alleged that Simpson used the internet to post derogatory remarks and a photograph of the officer in May 2015.
In a motion to dismiss the felony charges this week, Assistant State's Attorney Brad Rigdon cited the recent court ruling, adding "the state believes there is sufficient evidence to prove the defendant guilty at trial and will re-file if the statute is determined to be constitutional."
In a decision issued June 24, the appellate court held that the state's 2008 law violates free speech and due process rights. The appeal was filed by Walter Relerford, a Cook County man, convicted of harassing a radio station employee in 2012 in Chicago.
He argued his constitutional rights were violated because the law does not require intent on the part of the accused to harass another person.
Whether or not the ruling is the final word is up to the Illinois Supreme Court that will decide to either uphold the ruling, or decline to consider an appeal and issue a mandate that must be followed by all state courts.
McLean County State's Attorney Jason Chambers said his office will monitor the Supreme Court's action.
"We are being mindful of the decision on a case-by-case basis in deciding how to proceed," said Chambers.
If the ruling becomes final, Chambers said his office would dismiss charges without waiting for a defendant to request that charges be dropped.