A federal judge in New Hampshire has dismissed a case filed by a father against a police officer who arrested him after he protested against the use of a graphic sex book in a public school in the state during a school board meeting.
William Baer filed the lawsuit against Gilford, New Hampshire Lt. James Leach, saying the police officer violated his Fourth Amendment rights when he was arrested for disorderly conduct at the Gilford High School board meeting on May 5, 2014.
Judge Joseph DeClerico Jr. ruled on Tuesday that Leach was entitled to qualified immunity and summary judgment on Baer's false arrest charge.
In the school board meeting last year, Baer protested an assignment given to students, including his ninth-grade daughter, to read a book with graphic descriptions of "rough sex" between teens, according to WND.
Baer was arrested at the meeting by Leach. He was admonished by a board member that he violated the two-minute rule imposed to allow as many parents to speak about the book "Nineteen Minutes."
"The government school wrongly gave inappropriately graphic material to my 14-year-old daughter without providing required notice," Baer told WND.
"My First Amendment rights were violated as a result of an arrest that violated my Fourth Amendment rights. I was wrongly prosecuted for seven-and-one-half months by a 'prosecutor' working for the same government agency that arrested me," he said.
Baer said the judge wrote 24 pages to explain "that the acting police chief who arrested me should not be liable for his part because he 'arguably' had probable cause for the arrest."
"So, if we challenge our government, we risk giving up our time, money and liberty. But if our government actually wrongs us, increasingly no one is held responsible," he said.
Last year, a circuit judge dismissed charges of disorderly conduct filed against Baer by the state attorney general's office.
"The Court finds that this case is, notwithstanding the cynicism of the Defendant, an excellent 'civics' lesson, a perfect case for modelling free speech guarantees," the judge wrote.