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Mom Posted Video of a School Fight, Inspiring a Legal One

Louisiana woman arrested, but experts think the law was mis-applied
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 22, 2019 7:23 AM CST
Maegan Adkins-Barras   (Scott Police Department)

(Newser) – The mother of a Louisiana high school student was arrested Wednesday for posting a video of two students fighting on social media, though a lawyer says police "could have liability for making a false arrest." Maegan Adkins-Barras, 32, reportedly admitted to uploading the video her son recorded, showing a punch bringing down one of two fighting students at Acadiana High School in Lafayette; that boy then hits his head on a concrete bench, per ABC News. Treated at a hospital for minor injuries, he is charged with disturbing the peace while fighting, the other with second-degree battery, per Law&Crime. Adkins-Barras—who spent a night in Lafayette Parish Correctional Center after deleting the video, per the Acadiana Advocate—is also charged with unlawful posting of criminal activity for notoriety and publicity, under a law enacted in 2008.

Revised Statute 107.4 makes it "unlawful for a person who is either a principal or accessory to a crime to obtain an image of the commission of the crime and upload the act by use of computer to any online service for the purpose of gaining notoriety, publicity, or the attention of the public," per KLFY. "That means they're going to have to establish that she was there and somehow started or encouraged the fight," a criminal defense attorney tells the Advocate. When contacted by the outlet, Scott Police Chief Chad Leger said "I have five other reporters calling me. I don't understand why." He added, "I've talked to our city's legal attorney" and "this is all stuff that's going to be sent to the DA's office for review." Per KLFY, the 15th Judicial District Attorney's Office says the charge will be reduced to "illegally sharing images of juveniles without parental consent." (Read more Louisiana stories.)

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