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Imprisoned ex-clown can’t sue over cards

Published: Saturday, March 30, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

CHICAGO – A court in Chicago has tossed a lawsuit by an ex-clown imprisoned for sexual assault. He accuses prison officials of violating his rights because they seized birthday cards to his young daughters.

Before jurors convicted him of assaulting his adult girlfriend, Ronald Schroeder performed around southeastern Wisconsin as “Silly the Clown” and “Mr. Silly.”

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled this week that he can’t claim violations of his First Amendment rights, especially because he was eventually allowed to send the cards.

The court says officials interpreted a sentencing order that Schroeder avoid contact with minors as prohibiting birthday cards to his children. The judge later clarified that sending the cards was allowed.

The 43-year-old Schroeder is serving a six-year sentence in a Wisconsin state prison in Waukesha.

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