Friday, February 3, 2012

Suit: CLTV broadcasts pic of wrong man as sexual assault suspect

CHICAGO (WLS) - A Chicago area television news station broadcasted the wrong picture of a man with the same name in connection with a sexual assault of a boy last year, a defamation lawsuit filed Wednesday claims.

Christopher Buchanan claims a picture of his face was shown, Feb. 5, 2011, on Chicagoland Television News, Inc. (CLTV) with a caption stating the he was a suspect in the sexual assault of a boy on or near CTA property, according to a suit filed in Cook County Circuit Court.

The Christopher Buchanan involved in the sexual assault was an independent contractor for a company providing security for the CTA and not the plaintiff, the suit said.

The suit claims that Buchanan was never a suspect, person of interest, witness, or otherwise involved in the sexual assault.

The broadcast was shown to a wide audience of television viewers in the Chicagoland area, including Buchanan’s mother and friends of the family, the suit said.

The suit claims CLTV improperly fact-checked the story and failed to ensure the story was true and accurate, including the identity of the crime’s alleged perpetrator.

Due to the station’s negligent conduct, Buchanan’s reputation in the community and that of his family was injured, the suit said. He suffered severe emotional distress including fear and intimidation from community members. Buchanan also changed homes twice to protect the physical and emotional well-being of his family.

The suit also claims that Buchanan’s attorney told CLTV that there was a possibility for a defamation suit and the station removed and destroyed the defamatory statements from its online archives and broadcast news programs.

The four-count suit claims defamation, false light invasion of privacy and negligent spoliation of evidence. It seeks unspecified damages.

A spokesperson for CLTV was unavailable for comment Wednesday evening.

http://www.wlsam.com/Article.asp?id=2386386&spid