Court overturns man’s conviction for giving ex-wife middle finger
PITTSBURGH (AP) — A Pennsylvania appeals court has overturned the disorderly conduct conviction of a Pittsburgh man who was charged because he flashed his middle finger at his ex-wife.
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review says Monday’s Superior Court decision was based on past rulings by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court that the gesture is not obscene — and therefore not illegal — unless it is used in a sexual context.
Thirty-five-year-old Jason Waugaman was acquitted of an endangerment charge for allegedly driving his truck too close to his ex during a November 2014 child custody exchange. But, he was sentenced to 90 days’ probation for disorderly conduct.
Senior Judge Eugene Strassburger wrote in Monday’s opinion that, “Unless the First Amendment was repealed when I was not looking, giving someone the middle finger should not constitute a crime.”