Courtroom kissers charged with contempt of court cry foul


Reporters - Briana Conner
Photographer - Tim Rearden

MARSHALL COUNTY, Ky. - A couple caught kissing inside a local court room spent two nights in jail for their public display of affection. The judge says they disrespected his courtroom and others inside who were facing serious charges, but local 6 tracked down one of the smoochers who says the punishment doesn't fit the crime.

"I never thought in a million years this would happen to me," said 23-year-old Michael Raney. He said he still can't believe how he wound up before a judge when he originally went to court to check up on his girlfriend who was there to pay traffic tickets. "I can't believe he actually put me in jail, though," he said.

"I give her a kiss in the cheek. I'm about to stand up to leave, and then boom," said Raney. Judge Jack Telle sentenced Raney and his girlfriend to two nights in the slammer and charged the two smoochers with contempt of court. He said, "if someone's being disruptive, acting inappropriately, again, I feel like it's my obligation to address that." But Raney, who was in court with his two children, said, "I was kind of astonished. A two-month-old with her mother there... he's gonna take her away? I don't understand that."

Though there is some discrepancy about the kind of kiss, Judge Telle said the courtroom is no place to pucker up. "My expectation is that they be mindful of where they are and the business of the court," he said. That's a lesson Raney is sure to remember the next time he sits in Judge Telle's court.