NY Daily News Accused of False Rapist Tagging
BROOKLYN, N.Y. (CN) - In the third defamation lawsuit against the New York Daily News this year, a man wants $25 million after the tabloid allegedly wrongly branded him a "perv" who sexually assaulted a woman near City Hall.
Arcadio Rodriguez says in Kings County Supreme Court that the tab published the story and a photo of him in its paper and on its website, NYDailyNews.com, on April 15, 2013, calling a him a "brute" and a "sicko" who assaulted a 28-year-old woman in the early hours on a Sunday morning.
The paper also falsely stated that Rodriguez "molested her and told her not to scream," Rodriguez says, "even though defendant knew that the matters contained therein concerning the plaintiff were false and untrue."
A Daily News spokesman did not immediately return a call seeking comment Monday afternoon.
Rodriguez says the daily continued to publish the allegedly libelous statement and Rodriguez's photo through Sept. 18, 2013 "with reckless and wanton disregard."
The publication left Rodriguez "held up to public contempt, ridicule, discrace and prejudice," according to the complaint.
Rodriguez also named WPIX, operator of the news website www.PIX.com, as a defendant, claiming it posted a story on its April 15, 2013, page that described the alleged attack and falsely branded him a "creep."
Both outlets wrongly accused Rodriguez of a "crime involving moral turpitude," according to the complaint.
WPIX also failed to take down the story as of last Thursday, despite twice receiving written notification that the allegations were false, Rodriguez says.
In addition to $10 million in compensatory and punitive damages from Daily News LP, Rodriguez wants $15 million in compensatory and punitive damages from WPIX.
In January of this year, the News was sued for $2 million by Kyam Washington, again in Kings County Supreme Court, who claimed the paper defamed him in a Jan. 22, 2013, story by wrongly calling him a convicted rapist in a story headlined, "Sickening: Jury sees tape of skull-smash gang's beating."
Earlier this month, former Yankee Alex Rodriguez attorney, Joseph Tacopina, filed a $15 million federal defamation lawsuit in Manhattan, claiming two reporters conspired to discredit him by getting an ex-client - former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik - to file a false ethics complaint against him.
In the most recent lawsuit, plaintiff Arcadio Rodriguez is represented by Emil L. Samuels with Kelner and Kelner.