Possibly. You need to consult an attorney with specific details for advice.
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the newspapers publishing a false fact accusing you of a criminal past would constitute defamation. I would consult with an attorney experienced in defamation cases. Be aware that these types of cases often have a short "statute of limitations" (time period in which you are allowed to sue) , typically one year in many States, which starts to run as of the date of the publication. So don't waste time.
A local defamation lawyer would need to read the statements to evaluate. Use Avvo's "find a lawyer" tool.
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