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Judge warns atheist activist not to make sex noises | Weird

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Judge warns atheist activist not to make sex noises

LAKELAND, FLORIDA -- A controversial atheist activist, accused of simulating a sex act in the presence of a child, was expected to bond out of a Polk County jail late Friday after a court appearance earlier in the day.

Ellenbeth Wachs of Lakeland didn't a say a word in the courtroom.

Her neighbor, though, had plenty to tell the judge.

Otto Lehman testified Wachs made sexual noises near a window inside her home to keep his 10-year-old son from playing basketball in the driveway, and that it has scarred the boy.

"He's very fearful of even going outside right now," Lehman explained.

He and prosecutors argued Wachs' actions, including allegedly repeatedly yelling, "Oh, John," make her enough of a threat to the community to keep her in jail without bond.

More on EllenBeth Wachs:

"I feel her behavior is irrational.  It's gotten increasingly worse and belligerent, and I don't know what the next step will be," Lehman said.

But the attorney for Wachs argued his client has done nothing illegal. "There's no representation whatsoever that my client knew, or was aware, that child was out there," said John Liguori. 

Liguori portrayed the case as a neighborhood dispute that's gone too far.

"Lets assume instead of 'Oh, John,' it was 'Oh, Peter' or 'Oh, Tom' or 'Oh, Bill.' Does that mean the state can allege a sexual act with everyone of those exclamations?" he argued.

On Friday, the judge settled on a $6,000 bond for Wachs. He also warned her not to make unusual noises around the house. She's also banned from making contact with her neighbors or minors.


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