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Releasing info to the public about a company that looks the other way towards violent staffmembers?

Anaheim, CA |

I am currently in counseling for PTSD and pressed criminal charges (rape / sexual battery) against a former co-worker, but I had originally pressed sexual harassment charges against him and assumed, incorrectly, that he would be fired. Instead, the company allowed him to continue to work.

His position is similar to a camp counselor.

In addition to the police, I contacted and am working with a reporter from a publication w/ a large (millions) readership. I told the reporter that this person is a "Jerry Sandusky". I have fwded email exchanges, provided several former employees willing to be interviewed, and she said she would write an article in tandem w/ a personal piece. As long as I am truthful, are there repercussions to me? The company threatened defamation, but how can this be?

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Attorney answers 3

Posted

If you are telling the truth, you cannot be liable for defamation.

Posted

Mr. Pullman is correct, of course, but notice that he said you cannot be liable if you are telling the truth. He did not say you cannot be sued. In fact, with this kind of content, it is very likely that the publication, the writer and the source (that would be you) will be sued. Absolutely you should insist on an indemnification agreement in your favor with the publisher. Winning a defamation case is great, of course, but it can take several years -- the worst years of your life for sure -- and cost many thousands of dollars. Essentially, you have to prove the truth of your allegations in the course of the lawsuit and every speck of your life that might reflect on your credibility will be brought under the microscope. If the person this proposed article is about has the resources, or interests an experienced defamation attorney in pursuing the claim, you are in for an unforgettable experience. You might want to wait until after the subject person has been convicted in criminal court. It gets way easier, faster, less expensive and less risky from that moment on.

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Asker

Posted

Thanks, Christine! It is very stressful to know that other people may be injured by this same person. Hopefully, the police will get a move on, because the company took their jolly old time "investigating"!

Posted

I agree with bot of prior counsel's good answers. Make sure you are working with the victim advocate at the prosecutors office. They have excellent victim advocate programs in California.

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