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Boy sues over arrest for Instagram comment amid clown scare


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CINCINNATI (AP) — A lawsuit alleges a 12-year-old suburban Cincinnati boy was improperly arrested at school and prosecuted for social media comments goading purported frightening clowns to visit his area as reports of such encounters swirled around the country last fall.

His parents seek unspecified damages in the federal suit against his school district, an officer and prosecutors. They say his Instagram comments made no direct threats, yet authorities handcuffed, suspended and prosecuted him for causing public alarm and harassing the Instagram account's operator.

The suit challenges the constitutionality of the Ohio harassment law under which the boy's charged as a juvenile. The now-13-year-old denies the charges.

Spokeswomen for the Sycamore Community Schools and the Hamilton County prosecutor said Thursday that they hadn't yet reviewed the lawsuit and aren't commenting.

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