We’re not sure what it takes to qualify as “obscene, vulgar, profane, lascivious, or indecent language” under Virginia Code Sec. 18.2-427, but we’re far too modest – our faces are still red – to repeat the words that the Virginia Court of Appeals says fall short of that standard in Lofgren v. Commonwealth.
The words certainly would appear to be vulgar and profane, but the court notes that it limited the statute to “obscene” phrases in 1991 in response to an argument that it was unconstitutionally overbroad.
Obscenity generally involves “a prurient interest in sex,” and the defendant’s words were based on rage rather than any interest in sex, the court said. He “used the offensive words as vulgar curse or swear words to communicate his frustration, anger, contempt or disgust with the victim,” the court said today in reversing his conviction.
By Alan Cooper