Chris Wilson Ordered Released From Jail

Kat Khan
LAKELAND, Fla. — Alleged obscene picture peddler Chris Wilson today has been ordered released from jail by a Florida appellate court, after initially being denied immediate release last week.

Wilson’s attorney, Lawrence Walters, said details are unknown, but the court’s full opinion should be released soon. He added that defense counsel is currently focusing on the logistics of Wilson’s release and is working with his family to coordinate retrieval from the jail where he’s being held.

“We're obviously elated by the court's order and anxious to see the full opinion of the court detailing the reasons why [Chris] Wilson's detention has been found to be illegal,” Walters said. “It is unfortunate that he needed to endure this unlawful and unnecessary stay in custody and we look forward to fully vindicating our client's rights in the future.”

Wilson operates the amateur-wife-and-girlfriend website and was arrested in October on 301 felony counts for obscene photos police allegedly found on his site, though he removed all explicit material from the site in early December.

Defense counsel also is currently seeking to remove Judge J. Dale Durrance from the case. Earlier this month, Durrance revoked Wilson’s $151,000 bail and remanded him to custody at Polk County Jail after prosecutors contended that the continued use of his site violated the conditions of his release.

“[Chris] Wilson never intended to violate any condition of release and has always tried to comply with any restrictions of which he was aware,” Walters said. “The state just went too far in trying to use continued operation of the website against him as a basis for revoking bond. The First Amendment allows all citizens to communicate through the Internet and nobody should be punished for engaging in free expression before anything has been found illegal or obscene.”

A pretrial conference is set for Feb. 7, at which time a trial date could be set.