The New York Criminal Law Blog

Anti-Semitic Elmo Ran a 'Rape Camp' Porn Site, Disturbs the Peace

New York City has a problem, and his name is Elmo. More specifically, his legal name is Adam Sandler, but he is dressed as Elmo. Sandler has an odd habit of donning a loveable Sesame Street character costume and ranting against alleged Jewish conspiracies while traipsing through crowds of children.

Who is this guy? According to The New York Times, the man who adopted the same name as the Jewish comedic legend (ironic, huh?) has a questionable background that once dabbled in violent porn sites.

Back around the turn of the millennium, Sandler ran "Welcome to the Rape Camp", a porn site that, for money, would take requests on how to sexually torture Cambodian women. The women allegedly consented to the setup in exchange for money, but the disgusting site was still profiled by a U.S. professor in the Journal of Sexual Aggression. Sandler was later kicked out of Cambodia due to a "sex scandal."

Care to guess where his next stop was? He temped at the Girl Scouts of America.

After they fired him, he needed a new way to make a living. He had heard of others dressing up as Sesame Street characters and working for tips in touristy areas. According to the Times, after an initial investment of $300 for the suit, he began to make as much as $200 per day taking pictures with children.

Awesome.

He wasn't just posing for photos, however. He also took the opportunity, once crowds were present, to preach about "the International Jewish Conspiracy" and to claim that he worked for John Gotti.

Obviously, no one wants this man near their children, but is he committing a crime? He was taken away by the police after the anti-Semitic ranting, but it was only for a mental evaluation.

The New York Penal Code does have a couple of relevant provisions, but both are minor crimes. Disorderly conduct, which is a mere infraction, is defined as "making unreasonable noise", using abusive or obscene language, or "creating an offensive condition which serves no legitimate purpose." In short, it describes him.

Another possibilities is second-degree harassment. Each violation is punishable by a maximum of 15 days in jail, so at least he'd have a short break from the streets.

We know what you're thinking ... What about free speech?

Free speech is only protected to an extent. Political speech, no matter how unintelligent, is usually free from punishment. An example that every lawyer knows is the man who wore a "F--- the Draft!" jacket to court. His right to wear the explicit fashion accessory was upheld.

However, free speech only goes so far. When Adam "Elmo" Sandler accosted people by yelling, "F--- you! I work for John Gotti!", that probably was not speech protected by the First Amendment. A disorderly conduct arrest, therefore, could serve to silence him.

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