Another Michigan man faces anti-cursing charge

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Another Michigan man has run afoul of a century-old law that prohibits cursing in the presence of women and children.

Jeffery Richards, 27, is scheduled for a pretrial hearing Monday on charges of assault, disturbing the peace and using indecent language.

Earlier this year a judge ruled that the 102-year-old law is constitutional, and upheld the conviction of another man who swore in front of children after tumbling out of a canoe.

Richards is accused of using foul language in front of children on a school bus on Nov. 2. Richards said he used a mild obscenity, and only because he believed his daughter was being manhandled and verbally abused by the driver.

''I'm being charged with swearing on the bus and that's a pretty minor charge compared to grabbing my daughter,'' Richards said.

But Lake City Area Schools' Superintendent Lew Burchard said Richards used stronger language than he claimed and verbally threatened the driver. He shouted other obscenities from the front of the bus, Burchard said.

He added that Richards' allegation that his daughter was manhandled by the bus driver was unfounded.

Richards could face up to 90 days in jail if convicted.

In 1999, Timothy Boomer, a 26-year-old computer programmer, was convicted of violating the law when he uttered a stream of profanities after a canoe mishap on the Rifle River. He was fined $75 and ordered to work four days in a child-care program.

He is appealing the conviction.


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