Man ordered to apologize to ex-wife every day for a month

Posted at 7:01 PM, Feb 27, 2012
and last updated 2012-02-28 09:31:03-05

CINCINNATI, Ohio (WTVR) - A Cincinnati judge hands down what some are calling a questionable punishment to man accused of violating a protective order against his wife. The judge said that a post Mark Byron made about his estranged wife on Facebook violated the order.

Byron was found guilty in June of last year of civil domestic violence and his wife was granted a temporary protection order.

In November, Byron posted a rant about his wife on his Facebook page.

A judge said the rant violated the protection order because it "emotionally abused" his ex-wife.

The judge said he has to re-friend his wife on Facebook, and post a seven-paragraph apology every day for 30 days.

The judge told Byron he could avoid jail time by doing so.

Now Byron, and his lawyers, question whether it infringes on his right to free speech.

"On one hand, I've been told that I can't say what I want to say on Facebook, and now I'm being told that I must say something they're telling me I have to say," said Byron.

He said he plans to make the Facebook apologies to avoid serving 60 days in jail, because his lawyers believe it's too late to appeal the court's ruling.