Locked in a visitation dispute with his ex-girlfriend over their young daughter, J.P. Weichel wanted to vent, court records show.
Weichel, 40, allegedly posted comments about the woman on the Craigslist "Rants and Raves" forum, accusing her of child abuse and of welfare fraud and making crude comments about her sex life. The woman said the postings were defamatory. But unlike the vast majority of libel cases, which are tried in civil court, local authorities have taken the unusual step of charging Weichel with the crime of defaming his ex-girlfriend online.
Colorado is one of a dwindling number of states with a criminal law against libel. The statute dates to the 19th century and is rarely used.