Group gathers enough signatures to have grand jury review statue - KCTV5 News


Group delivers petition against controversial statue to JOCO Court Clerk

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A group opposed to a controversial statue in the Overland Park Arboretum said it has gathered enough signatures to have a grand jury seated in Johnson County to review the legality of having it on display.

The American Family Association of Kansas and Missouri said in a news release they've gathered 4,700 signatures from Johnson County, KS, registered voters and can now seat a grand jury to examine the legal questions of community standard and promotion of obscenity to a minor after they had objections to a statue placed in the arboretum that shows a headless woman with her breasts exposed taking a picture of herself.

In the middle of Aug. the group said they were verifying that the signatures belong to registered voters of the county and they submitted the petitions to the JOCO court clerk Tuesday.

"It is AFA's hope that the Overland Park Kansas City Council would also use this window of opportunity (until Sept. 4) to reflect and revisit what is obviously a large number of citizens' beliefs that the ‘sexting' sculpture in a family friendly, children's venue was recklessly placed," the group said.

In June, Overland Park Mayor Carl Gerlachat denied the group's request to speak at a city council meeting and voice their concerns about the statue because not all of the people involved are residents of Overland Park.

Some residents believe taking the issue to a grand jury is going too far and is a waste of taxpayer dollars.

The sculpture, titled Accept or Reject or The Choice, is part of an international art exhibit.

The city said the sculpture depicting the woman in such a way is part of the artist's message.

"The piece is saying focus on your mind, heart and soul. When we meet somebody, don't focus on that other stuff. Focus on the mind, body and soul," said Sean Reilly with the city of Overland Park.

Once the signatures have been filed, the county has 60 days to impanel the Grand Jury.

Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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