Were a local man to be arrested after going into a bar, grabbing a bouncer's crotch and kissing a male patron, most people probably would expect him to be subjected to more than a "go and sin no more" penalty. Yet that is precisely what happened to a nationally known comedian in Cabell County, W.Va.
Comedian Andy Dick was arrested at a Huntington nightclub in 2010 after he committed those very acts. He had been in the city for a performance.
Dick was charged with sex abuse offenses that could have been prosecuted as felonies. Instead, he got off scot-free.
Cabell County Assistant Prosecutor Corky Hammers told The Associated Press Dick's case has been handled through a pre-trial diversion agreement.
Such arrangements are not uncommon in many types of criminal proceedings. They can require defendants to obtain counseling for whatever types of misbehavior got them into trouble in the first place.
But in Dick's case, the agreement requires only that he stay out of legal trouble for the next six months. If he manages to do that, he's off the hook. There was no report of any requirement he obtain counseling for what certainly seems to be a problem controlling his behavior.
Of course, discretion in such cases should be allowed to law enforcement officers, prosecutors and judges who are acquainted with all the circumstances in such cases. Still, members of the public who hear of Dick's case may well wonder whether a less prominent person would have been allowed to "walk" without at least getting counseling.
At least here in our area of the Ohio Valley, we suspect the answer would be no.