Pubdate: Sun, 09 Dec 2001
Source: Greenville News (SC)
Copyright: 2001 The Greenville News
Author: John Boyanoski
Bookmark: (Drug Testing)


A Greenville judge has ordered the trial of a man accused of selling urine 
to help people pass drug tests to start Wednesday, making it the first time 
the law banning such sales will be heard in criminal court.

Kenneth Curtis, owner of Privacy Protection Services, formerly of Marietta, 
faces charges that his company is against the law, according to prosecutors.

Curtis maintains he sells the urine kits because he does not believe in 
random drug testing because it violates people's rights. It is legal to 
sell urine in South Carolina but illegal to defraud a drug screening test.

"I think this is a joke, but it is serious because I face jail time," he 
said. "Everyone understands why I do this. There should be no question."

Curtis faces a combined maximum sentence of eight years in jail and a 
$15,000 fine if convicted.

Bill McAninch, a University of South Carolina School of Law professor, said 
most times when a new criminal law is first tested, it will lead to several 
appeals on its constitutionality.

However, since the state Supreme Court has already ruled the law is valid, 
he does not see this case being anything more than a regular criminal trial.

During a hearing Friday, Circuit Judge John Few ruled there is no reason to 
delay the trial, despite claims from Curtis' attorney that there are civil 
matters being appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court that could declare the 
state's urine sales law illegal.

Few denied this motion, saying anyone facing criminal conviction could 
fight the law indefinitely with appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court to delay 
going to trial.

Robert Childs, Curtis' attorney, said he plans to bring evidence that 
prosecutors are singling out his client and not going after other people 
selling urine kits. Curtis' kit contains a plastic bag of urine, duct tape, 
instructions, heating pads and a label saying it is not to be used for a 
drug test.

"You can take a shower with it. Drink it. Do whatever you want with it. 
Fertilize a garden," Childs said of other urine uses.

At times, exchanges in the hour-long hearing got heated over questions of 

At one point, the defense claimed Wal-Mart also sold urine kits. The 
prosecution quickly replied that the urine in question was deer, not human, 
and in the hunting section. This led Few to question the defense on its case.

"You got any human urine?" Few asked.

"Yes, sir, we got a lot of it," Childs answered.

Assistant Solicitor Mindy Hervey said the prosecution is not targeting 
Curtis and if there is evidence other people in Greenville sell urine kits, 
they too will be prosecuted.

"I am one woman in a small county and I do not have nationwide 
jurisdiction," she said in court. "We would be happy to prosecute others."
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