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A single-word text message leads to arrest in Pennsylvania

Technology has changed quite a bit in recent years, and this has led to completely new types of telecommunications and internet crimes. For example, a 45-year-old Pennsylvania woman allegedly sent a text message to her ex-boyfriend at around 2:30 a.m., which led to her arrest. Reportedly, the text contained only the word "jerk."

Although mildly offensive, texting the work "jerk" is not ordinarily a criminal offense. However, she was arrested by police because they believed that the text violated a court order to cease all contact with her ex-boyfriend, according to recent news reports.

While the content of this message may not seem out of the ordinary for two people who have recently parted ways following a relationship, the woman's ex-boyfriend was said to feel distress on receiving the message.

According to police reports, the ex-boyfriend suggested that the woman may have been lurking around the outside of his home. The ex-boyfriend claims that his dog also showed signs of alarm.

Not long before the arrest related to the text message, the Pennsylvania woman was charged with entering into her ex-boyfriend's house unlawfully when she allegedly attempted to retrieve a DVD. On that occasion, the woman was arraigned and released on $2,500 bail under the condition that she would cease contact with her ex-boyfriend.

Yet the one-word text message she allegedly sent in the early hours of the morning has been considered a violation of the conditions of her bail.

The woman claims that she was present in a bar at the time the text message was sent. According to the police, she admitted that the message originated from her phone, but she could not recall sending it.

She claims to have consumed four Xanax pills, a drug that is used to treat anxiety and panic disorder, in addition to three alcoholic beverages around the time the text message was sent.

Sources: MSNBC, "Woman arrested for texting the word 'jerk'," 12 July 2011

Patch.com, "Nazareth Woman Charged for Texting 'Jerk'," Mallory Vough, 13 July 2011

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