Massachusetts Superior Court Judge Raymond Brassard issued a ruling on September 22, 2011 denying the Boston Herald's motion for summary judgment, ruling claims brought by David Rich and Megan Deluhery of Todd & Weld LLP on behalf of their client, Joanna Marinova, will go to trial.
The defamation suit is based on a May 28, 2009 article which appeared in the Boston Herald and reported that Ms. Marinova had been "bagged" and "written up" for "engaging in 'sexual acts'" at a state prison with an inmate, among other libels. The Court ruling held that the Herald's reporting in the case “was edited in such a fashion as to effectively misrepresent what occurred and to be effectively misleading.” The Court also held that “it seems to me that not only a reasonable reader, but virtually any reader, even a First Amendment lawyer, would read [the article] and [incorrectly] think [Marinova] was involved in some sort of sexual intercourse with this man at the prison. I don't know how a reasonable person could think otherwise.” The Court went on to conclude that “had [the actual facts] been accurately reported, the effect on the mind of a reasonable reader would have been very different than that which was produced by the article as published.” After completion of discovery issues which were stayed pending this motion, the case will proceed to trial.
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