BUTLER COUNTY (KDKA) – They’re sites of revenge and spite.
Nationally, there’s TheDirty.com and closer to home there’s Butler Trash, where anonymous users post lewd pictures and scurrilous accusations, calling their victims drug and sex addicts and worse.
Jonathan Simon says pictures of his 9-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son also appeared on the Butler Trash site.
“I think it’s pretty ignorant,” Simon said. “They’re my pride and joy. That’s one thing you don’t do, is mess with a man’s children.”
Enraged, Simon says he went to the home of Justin Castilyn, the man he says operates the website. The two tangled and he says Castilyn stabbed him in the arm with a knife. Police charged both men with simple assault and both were to appear Monday morning in district court. But Castilyn, who is in the Butler County Prison on a forgery charge, postponed the hearing.
The change in the hearing was disappointing for others who came to testify against Castilyn. Carl Claypoole says he’s been slandered by Castilyn and his children’s pictures have also been posted on the site.
“Or he has about half of Butler pissed off at him,” Claypoole said.
“You have pictures of children, which is the most offensive to me,” said District Attorney Richard Goldinger. “If you want to cast stones, leave the children out of it.”
But while police have charged Castilyn for assault, Goldinger says he can not charge Castilyn for operating the site.
“We find that what’s contained on the site is offensive, but unfortunately there’s nothing we can do criminally because it’s protected free speech and we can’t prosecute a crime for free speech,” he said.
And so it appears that people are ready to take the law into their own hands.
“I’m going to get him,” Claypoole said. “That’s all that needs to be said.”
For now, Justin Castilyn remains in jail and will face his accusers another day. But on the outside, tempers continue to run high, especially over the posting of kids’ pictures on the internet.