KANSAS CITY, Mo. (CN) - The former director of a youth center claims that a self-described watchdog website cost him his job by falsely accusing him of being a pedophile who liked teen-age boys. Gary Christ acknowledges that he sought an adult "escort" through the Internet, but says he refused to wire the $150 because he recognized a defendant "from a prior encounter" and he knew the man "to be a fraud".
Christ sued James Vincent Nix, Hatetrackers.com, GoDaddy.com, Mary Ann Cravens and Jericho Cravens in Federal Court.
Hatetrackers is a website registered with GoDaddy. Cravens and Easton are "believed to be employed by Hatetrackers," and Nix is the man with whom Christ exchanged his first, angry series of emails, according to the complaint.
Christ claims that he "entered an adult services website offering escort services" on Sept. 22, "and followed the procedure on the website to receive an escort. All escorts were clearly represented as being over the age of eighteen."
Christ claims that Nix instructed him to wire $150 via Western Union, but says that "recognizing defendant Nix by name from a prior encounter, declined to wire any funds for the reservation and responded to defendant Nix by email that he knew Nix to be a fraud and that he hoped Nix went to jail."
The complaint continues: "Defendant Nix replied in a rude manner and stated, 'You're the child molester.'
"Infuriated by defendant Nix's comment, plaintiff replied to defendant Nix by calling him a 'piece of shit.'
"Defendant Nix replied shortly thereafter by email and stated, 'You've pissed off the wrong guy' and told plaintiff 'you should start packing up your desk'.
"On information and belief defendant Nix immediately contacted defendant Hatetrackers and provided false information that plaintiff was attempting to solicit sexual services from underage individuals.
"Within a matter of minutes, plaintiff received an email from defendant hatetrackers.com indicating that it had obtained information from the escort website that plaintiff was a pedophile and/or child molester.
"That same day, on September 20, 2010, defendant Cravens sent an email, attached hereto, to plaintiff's employer's corporate headquarters that plaintiff was 'likely a pedophile.'
"Two days following on September 22, 2010, defendant Easton sent an email, which is attached hereto, to plaintiff's employer's corporate headquarters in which defendant Easton insinuated that plaintiff was a pedophile and/or child molester who posed a threat to children.
"That same day, defendant Hatetrackers published an article titled, 'Potential Scandal Could Rock Catholic Church ... Again,' in which defendant Hatetrackers insinuates that plaintiff is a pedophile interested in young children who posed a threat to children in the area and charged plaintiff with improper behavior in relation to his position as executive director of Boys Hope Girls Hope.
"Due to the false information spread by defendant Nix, plaintiff voluntarily resigned from his position of employment."
Christ claims that "Nix, Hatetrackers, Cravens and Easton knew that the escort website clearly represented that all escorts were of legal age."
Christ seeks punitive damages for defamation, privacy invasion, and a protective injunction. He is represented by Brett Coonrod of Overland Park, Kan.Follow @@joeharris_stl
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