Jail Sentence for Filthy Mess in Courthouse Restroom Upheld - Legally Weird
Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

Jail Sentence for Filthy Mess in Courthouse Restroom Upheld

A federal appellate court has affirmed a man's conviction for making a crap-stained mess of a federal courthouse bathroom, proving to the nation what was long suspected: Judges hate poop.

The First Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Ronald J. Strong's conviction for willfully "damaging" along with "creating a nuisance" and "hazard" on federal property -- crimes for which the weak-bowelled Strong served seven days in jail, reports Salon.

Is it really illegal for a person to make a big mess in a federal restroom, even when he allegedly tried to clean it up?

Up Federal Creek Without a Paddle

This epic of excremental proportions began in a courthouse in Portland, Maine, where Strong had arrived to attend a civil case. But upon entering the building, he began "defecating in his pants" and was escorted to a restroom by court security.

When Strong left the restroom, it was more or less covered in feces -- despite his apparent attempts to clean it up. This led the First Circuit's Chief Judge Sandra Lynch to delight in smearing the court's opinion with poopy descriptions.

Strong, for the most part, did not contest the sheer horror of his brown bathroom exploits, but maintained that his conviction should've been overturned based on a lack of intent.

Purposeful Poops?

Federal law prohibits a person from "willfully destroying and damaging property." Strong claimed that his smelly exploits in the Portland courthouse were an accident, and not the result of an intent to destroy or damage.

Some crimes require the defendant to have a specific intent, like larceny. Strong argued that his numerous medications, along with his age, contributed to his involuntary pants-pooing. The bathroom's condition was the result of a genuine attempt to try to clean the mess, he maintained.

The court, however, found these arguments a distant No. 2 to a more likely explanation: Strong was angry about his prior defeats in that same court, and took his anger out in fecal form.

Defendants in the Dumps

While the First Circuit treated this case as if Strong was the Banksy of bowel movements, far more intentional poops have come out of defendants.

Consider Weusi McGowan, who went ape-s--- during jury selection for his robbery trial and hurled his dookey at jurors after he smeared some on his lawyer.

Or even MTV's Abram Boise of "Road Rules" fame, who decided to make a "pit stop" in his jail cell and write his name with his own filth.

Strong has already served his week in jail, so this appeal will only serve as a public reminder that he completely destroyed a bathroom with whatever he had for dinner the night before.

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