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Cursing Canoeist Sentenced

Timothy Boomer could've gotten 90 days in jail. Instead, Judge Allen Yenior fined him $75 and ordered him to perform four days of community service at a daycare center for violating a century-old Michigan law against cursing, reports Correspondent Bill Stevens of CBS Station WWJ in Detroit.

Outside the court, Boomer remained defiant.

"I know I am being punished by a law that not one person in a million in America ever knew existed," Boomer said.

A year ago, Boomer and some friends were canoeing down the Rifle River in Arenac County when he fell into the water.

His friends thought it was funny, but a sheriffÂ's deputy said Boomer wasnÂ't laughing. Instead, he was cursing loud enough that a nearby family could hear.

Michael Smith, the father of the family, testified against Boomer at the trial.

"My adrenaline was rushing," Smith said. "My wife was covering my daughterÂ's ears and I was trying to get through there as fast as I could."

Boomer admitted he said the Â"FÂ" word but that it was nothing like the tirade described by Smith. The jury found him guilty of indecent language.

After the sentencing, Boomer's lawyer boiled down the $75 fine.

"At worst, Mr. Boomer used the Â"FÂ" word two or three times," said defense attorney William Street, "which means this works out to $25 per Â"FÂ" word, according to our proofs."

Boomer, a single father with no criminal record, will not have to pay up just yet. The judge delayed the sentence because Boomer has launched an appeal arguing that the no-curse law is unconstitutional.

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