At a Harlan, Kentucky, grocery store last week, perennial gubernatorial candidate Otis "Bullman" Hensley encountered a woman with her two nieces, ages 11 and 13. He offered to trade a "fattening hog" for the girls, a variation on an old Appalachian joke meant as a compliment. The woman evidently didn't get it. A.P. reports that "the family obtained a warrant for Hensley's arrest from the local prosecutor, claiming the comment was intended to entice the children into illegal sexual activity." Hensley—who earned his nickname by traveling the state with "a giant Fiberglas bull on which he attached a sign proclaiming that, if elected, he would 'chase the bull out of Frankfort'"—spent three days in jail before the girls' father decided he was willing to accept an apology in lieu of a 10-year prison sentence.
"He absolutely meant no harm," the prosecutor says. "It was a joke to him." Appalachian scholar Loyal Jones complains that "political correctness has ruined country humor."
If the hog-for-girl swap is representative, I won't mourn the loss of country humor too much. I'm more worried about the way sex crime hysteria has perverted the law. "In Kentucky," A.P. explains, "citizens can obtain arrest warrants simply by filing a complaint with local prosecutors," and "no investigation is necessary for police to make an arrest when the charge involves an alleged sexual offense."
[via The Freedom Files]