This is put forward as a serious news story with no hint that anyone responsible for it thinks it is in any way humorous.
There is no downward limit to how trivial an offense can be to land you on the pages of the local news. It depends on what kind of news day they are having, and the default is to act as an arm of local law enforcement. For reasons of self interest.
Meanwhile, we are treated to another story by several “news” outlets: a convicted rapist – convicted rapist! – will be released from prison next month. Apparently, convicted rapists should never be released from prison, even if they have completed their sentences under the law.
This particular convicted rapist has been in custody since 1995. That’s roughly 18 years.
Let’s be clear about something: anyone who thinks that 18 years in prison is a grossly insufficient punishment for rape is irrational. Anyone who thinks that the opinion that 18 years is enough is a somehow defective opinion is beyond irrational, and into some other territory such as the surreal.
But that is the implication and the message of the “news” story.
Monsters sell, just like horror or slasher movies. We’d like to think that the press is more responsible than that, but they so consistently show that they aren’t.