MT. CLEMENS, Mich. (CN) – A man claims three Michigan newspapers defamed him by reporting that he was arrested for masturbating in public. The man says he was only peeing.
David Rees sued The Oakland Press, The Macomb Daily and The Lapeer County Press, in Macomb County Court. Rees acknowledges that he “was arrested for indecent exposure by the Utica Police Department, a misdemeanor,” on June 17, 2008. He adds that “on Sept. 30, 2008, he pled guilty to indecent exposure as it related to urinating in public.”
He claims that “in the weeks following,” all of the paper printed “false and misleading statements include(ing) allegations that plaintiff was arrested for masturbating, and that he was now included on the Michigan Sex Offender Registry list.”
Rees says he demanded retractions, but “Retraction was nonexistent, unreasonable, inappropriate and insufficient to the audience.”
He demands damages for defamation and emotional distress. He is represented by Scott Combs of Novi, Mich.