Wednesday, February 07, 2007

ADF attorneys to represent Gideons arrested for distributing Bibles on public sidewalk
Two Christians charged with trespassing

February 07, 2007

PLANTATION KEY, Fla. — Two members of Gideons International arrested for distributing Bibles on a public sidewalk will be represented by Alliance Defense Fund attorneys. Anthony Mirto and Ernest Simpson were arrested, booked into jail, and charged with trespassing.

“The First Amendment protects the right to engage in religious speech on a public sidewalk,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel David Cortman. “Members of the Gideons have been highly respected for decades as peaceful providers of free Bibles to those who want them.”

On Jan. 19, Mirto and Simpson began distributing copies of the Bible on a public sidewalk outside Key Largo School. Neither man entered school grounds. After the school’s principal called police, a Monroe County Sheriff’s officer asked the men to leave immediately or face trespassing charges. As the men prepared to leave, the officer decided to arrest both individuals.
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