The material is abhorrent; yet the case brings up serious questions about the possibility of facing prison in this country for writing fiction. On the radar from PC World:
A Pennsylvania woman has been sentenced to five years of probation, including six months of home detention, and forfeiture of her computer after pleading guilty Thursday to obscenity charges for running a Web site that featured text stories that were sexual and violent in nature.
Karen Fletcher, 56,of Donora, Pennsylvania, owned and operated the Web site, Red Rose Stories, which featured stories describing sexual molestation and violence against children. Other stories included torture, rape and murder of children, and Fletcher sold memberships to her site, where members could get full stories, the U.S. Department of Justice said.
Fletcher, using the pen name Red Rose, wrote most of the stories herself, the DOJ said. Some of the stories were available as audio files, but the site didn’t include photos, according to press reports.
Fletcher reportedly was abused as a child and started the site as a form of therapy, according to news reports.
The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation ordered the site closed in late 2005. Some constitutional lawyers have questioned the prosecution of Fletcher, saying many pieces of popular literature have contained similar descriptions of abuse or murder. (…read more.)