A little known law that landed an Acadiana mom behind bars

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LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – Three arrests have been made in connection to a fight at Acadiana High School.

The two students involved in the fight both face charges; one is charged with disturbing the peace by fighting. The other with second-degree battery.

The third arrest is a 32-year-old woman who was nowhere near the scene of the fight.

Maegan Adkins-Barras was charged with unlawfully posting criminal activity for notoriety or publicity.

It’s a law that not many of were familiar with before Wednesday.

Revised Statute 107.4 makes it unlawful to post criminal activity for notoriety or publicity.

And you may not have known but this law was made effective more than 10 years ago.

In 2008, State Representative Barbara Norton was faced with a unique problem.

People in the Shreveport area were recording themselves or someone else committing a crime and posting it online.

This led her to push for new legislation.

Senator Fred Mills was a state rep at the time and was one of 38 co-authors backing Rep. Norton’s bill.

“There was no way for a district attorney to prosecute the case because the law was absolutely silent,” Sen. Mills said.

The bill made the act of posting the illegal activity to social media a crime punishable by six months in jail or a $500 fine.

During the 2008 regular session, Rep. Norton said, “Making sure that we prevent people from committing a battery on someone and then taking that tape and putting it on YouTube so they can get notoriety” was the purpose of the bill.

The law states, in part, “it shall be 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”.

Which Sen. Mills said he believes does not relate to the case of Maegan Adkins. 

“If you look at that paragraph of law you have to be either the person that committed the crime or an accessory to the crime and in this situation, it doesn’t look like it addresses that,” Mills said.

District Attorney Keith Stutes reached out to News 10 and said his office has not received the Scott Police Department ‘s official report. He said he will comment on the matter once he has reviewed the investigation. 
 

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