A Texas man could face six months in jail for sending a chocolate penis to the office of his former girlfriend’s ex-husband.
43-year-old Thomas Roy Gourneau attempted to anonymously send the phallic candy to Tracy Chance’s office at the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office in December 2017 but his anonymity was apparently foiled when the recipient subpoenaed Gourneau’s financial records, presumably to prove he was the sender.
According to the Waco Tribune-Herald, as reported by Vice, Gourneau was arrested and charged with misdemeanor harassment in December 2018, though he was released from jail after posting $2,500 bond.
The Texan was offered a plea deal and a ‘pretrial diversion program’ which, according to the Department of Justice, is an alternative to prosecution which seeks to divert certain offenders from traditional criminal justice processing into a programme of supervision and services administered by the US Probation Service. However he turned the offers down.
As a result, Gourneau and Chance are going to court, where the penis sender could face six months in jail and $2,000 in fines.
Gourneau’s attorney, Cody Cleveland, spoke about the case to the Waco Tribune-Herald, where he questioned whether a chocolate penis would have had such a strong response had Chance not been an employee at the sheriff’s office.
I question whether if I, or somebody not involved in law enforcement, had called 911, and said we had a matter that needed to be investigated and told them I had received a chocolate candy bar in the shape of a penis, how long I would be sitting before they arrived at my office or my house to investigate that crime.
I just think because this guy works for the sheriff’s office and it got delivered to him at the sheriff’s office that it was easy for him to walk across the hall and get a detective to look into the case.
Doesn’t this seem like a huge waste of the courts time? Isn’t a chocolate penis love? I
— NoodlyPrayers (@RevMDBuckner) August 2, 2019
Gourneau reportedly claims the chocolate genitalia was intended as a prank, however McLennan County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy David Kilcrease has emphasised the incident was harassment and that investigators were treating it as such.
The deputy explained:
[W]e treated this case just like any other case. If they are being harassed and there is a method to stop the harassment, we will handle it.
If it is a violation of the law and there is a method to get a remedy, then we will provide that remedy. Any citizen who has a complaint, we will talk to.
That’s a hell of a “gag” gift. I think it’s great that he is seeing it all the way through. I pray that we can watch it on Court TV🍆
— RichardNasty (@RichardNasty1) August 2, 2019
A spokesperson for the district attorney’s office said the delivery of the edible penis wasn’t the first time Gourneau had allegedly harassed Chance, claiming the 43-year-old had a ‘long history of improper communication with the victim.’
The criminal complaint against Gourneau says he fully intended to ‘harass, annoy, alarm, abuse, torment, or embarrass’ Chance, emphasised by both the chocolate penis and an enclosed message ‘suggesting [Chance] engage in fellatio.’
Despite the fact Gourneau could face jail for his purchase, his attorney went on to mock the way Chance would approach the jury:
Was it the size of it? Was it that it was chocolate and he prefers vanilla? I don’t know, but he will get to tell the jury and explain to them why he feels like this is a crime.
I think a jury is going to think this is a complete waste of their time. If there has been other harassment, [Gourneau] isn’t charged with that. They have charged him with sending a candy bar.
Gourneau’s penis-source hasn’t been named but companies like Dick at Your Door will send anonymous chocolate dicks to any recipient you choose, though the site states the products are intended only as jokes and are not to be sent with malicious intent.
A trial date for the case has not yet been set.
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.