OH trial begins for wheelchair comic's promoter


CINCINNATI (AP) -- A man has gone on trial on a disorderly conduct charge, as he challenges his arrest after asking people in a Cincinnati park if they wanted to laugh at a crippled girl.

Prosecutors have focused their case against 25-year-old Forest Thomer (TOH'-mer), of Cold Spring, Ky., to emphasize his "turbulent behavior," not his speech, since his arrest. He says his free speech rights are being violated.

He was charged in May after asking people if they wanted to laugh at his friend Ally Bruener (BROO'-nur). They were promoting the comedy show and website of the Alexandria, Ky., woman with muscular dystrophy who is in a wheelchair. She says she uses humor to try to remove stigma.

Thomer could receive up to 30 days in jail if convicted.

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