Feb. 23, 2012 at 10:36 AM ET
A man with a record of domestic violence has been ordered by a Cincinnati court to apologize to his victim -- his estranged wife -- on Facebook for comments he made on the social network.
NBC-affiliate WLWT in Cincinnati reported on the unusual order, made to Mark Byron in lieu of serving 60 days in jail and paying a $500 fine for violating a temporary protection order granted to his soon-to-be ex-wife, Elizabeth Byron, for being found guilty in June of civil domestic violence against her.
On his Facebook page, Mark Byron, a photographer, had posted a portrait of himself with the couple's young son, and amongst the comments, he wrote this:
"If you are an evil, vindictive woman who wants to ruin your husband's life and take your son's father away from him completely -- all you need to do is say that you're scared of your husband or domestic partner and they'll take him away!"
Although he blocked his estranged spouse from his page, she was able to see the photo post and the comments below it, and filed a successful motion that he violated the protection order, which prohibited him from "from causing plaintiff or the child of the parties to suffer physical and/or mental abuse, harassment, annoyance or bodily injury."
As a result, magistrate Paul Meyers sentenced Mark Byron to the jail time and fine on Jan. 25, but added a clause that allowed the man to avoid going behind bars and paying that fine if he would pay back child support and post an apology on Facebook for 30 days, beginning Feb. 13. During that time, Elizabeth Byron or one of her friends has to be given access to check and make sure it's there.
Here is the apology, which addresses Elizabeth Byron's concern about being seen in an unfavorable light in regards to allowing visitation to their son.
Play out your life on Facebook, and sometimes the long arm of the law will step in to make sure you're playing by the rules.
On Twitter, follow Athima Chansanchai, who is also trying to keep her head above water in the Google+ stream.