New Hampshire publisher Debra A. Paul has been convicted of five misdemeanor counts for failing to properly label political ads as such.
Paul, the publisher of the Londonderry Times, could in theory face up to a year in jail and a $2,000 fine on each count, according to local reports.
Derry District Court Judge Kerry Steckowych convicted Paul of five out of six counts after one-day trial in November.
Paul’s lawyers argued during the trial that she never intended to break the law and that the prosecution didn’t prove that she did so knowingly, according to inDepthNg.org.
However, prosecutors argued that ignorance of the law is no excuse.
The news is unnerving given that the law criminalizes what would normally be deemed a civil matter. It has left observers wondering if there was a political intent to the charges.
A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Dec. 20.