BONNEAU, S.C. (WCSC) - A Bonneau woman wanted to make a statement, so she decorated her truck with a set of red plastic testicles. And now a jury gets to decide if she was exercising free speech or being just obscene.
Virginia Tice was given a $445 ticket July 5 that accuses her of violating the state's obscene bumper sticker law.
And other than a hefty fine, the ticket is causing a huge controversy that extends far past the Bonneau city limits.
"To me it's just a personal expression," says John Caddell. "My truck's got power."
Caddell is another proud owner of the conversation starters. He says whether it's good or bad, his pair of chrome truck ornaments is driving a heated debate.
It's a bigger issue now because of Bonneau Chief of Police Franco Fuda ticketing Tice for what he says the law defines as obscene.
"Genitalia is offensive," says Chief Fuda. "As a law enforcement officer, I'll advise that person if it warrants a citation I'll issue a citation. As a father, I wouldn't want my daughter looking at it."
The South Carolina code of laws says "a sticker, decal or emblem is indecent when it describes, in a patently offensive way... sexual acts, excretory functions or parts of the human body."
Caddell says he must interpret the law differently than Police Chief Fuda.
"My interpretation is they're talking about human body parts," says Caddell. "I don't think these are human body parts... it looks like a chrome plated door knocker."
Tice's attorney, Scott Bischoff, expects a trial next month and says his client is still angry with the incident.
"My clients conduct was not illegal," says Bischoff. "We believe it was blown way out of proportion. She is still upset about the situation because she believes she's been treated unfairly."
Bischoff says there's no date set for Tice's jury trial, the attorney filed for a continuance they are confident will be accepted to bypass the original trial date of August 3.
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