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July 28, 2011
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Ticket for truck ‘testicles’ sparks trial, debate

Police issued a $445 ticket for a violation of the state’s obscene bumper sticker law

By PoliceOne Staff

BONNEAU, S.C. — A woman with a questionable bumper "sticker"  — namely, a set of red plastic testicles hanging from the back of her pickup truck — has sparked a court trial that will reexamine the line between free speech and obscenity.

Officers ticketed Virginia Tice for her vehicle’s bold ornamentation, citing a direct violation of the state’s obscene bumper sticker law that justifies her $445 fine, issued in early July, Live 5 News reported.

"Genitalia is offensive," says Bonneau Chief of Police Franco Fuda. "As a law enforcement officer, I'll advise that if it warrants a citation, I'll issue a citation."

The law in question states that "a sticker, decal or emblem is indecent when it describes, in a patently offensive way... sexual acts, excretory functions or parts of the human body."

John Caddell, who also owns a pair of truck testicles — his are metallic — says police are misinterpreting the law.

"They’re talking about human body parts," says Caddell. "I don't think these are human body parts... it looks like a chrome plated door knocker."

Tice's attorney, who claims his client’s conduct was not illegal, expects a trial next month. He says Tice is still angry about the incident and believes she has been treated unfairly.

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