Court rejects sex offender's emoticon appeal

2011-03-16T00:00:00Z 2011-03-16T06:28:43Z Court rejects sex offender's emoticon appealBy ANNE JUNGEN | La Crosse Tribune

A La Crosse man who tried to use a computer to facilitate a child sex crime has lost his appeal. John Jacques, 60, engaged in sexually graphic online conversations with a Holmen police officer who had been posing as a 13-year-old girl.

He was convicted in 2008 and sentenced to 15 years in prison. Jacques appealed, saying the officer entrapped him using animated emoticons during Internet chats.

Transcripts of the chats given to the jury showed only static blushing smiley face emoticons the officer sent Jacques after he provided graphic images of himself.

Jacques claims prosecutors withheld evidence when they failed to use a computer program that would have shown the jury animated emoticons, which he argued was "clear evidence of enticement."

He doesn't support his argument with a legal basis, the appeals court found.

"We fail to see how viewing the emoticons as animations would have led the jury to conclude that he was the victim of excessive incitement," the court wrote.

Jacques also faults his attorney for not questioning the officer about the emoticons during cross-examination of his 2008 trial in La Crosse County Circuit Court.

"There is no possibility that additional questioning about the display of the emoticons' animated features would have persuaded the jury to accept Jacques' entrapment defense," the court wrote.

Police arrested Jacques Nov. 29, 2007, at a fast-food restaurant after arranging to meet the girl there for a sleepover. He engaged in sexually graphic conversations and sent a pornographic video and pictures to the police officer posing as the 13-year-old girl.

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