Published info could result in dismissed case
By 10/09/2003 00:00:00
The Ellis County Press
ENNIS - A newspaper report detailing an alleged sexual assault suspect's home address could result in a lawsuit and the case being thrown out of court, sheriff officials said.
Lt. Danny Williams of the Ellis County Sheriff's Office said after the Ennis Daily News printed the sexual assault suspect's home address, which is classified, he was evicted from his home, and as a result, he could get his case thrown out of court.
'He could sue them, he could sue us, and the judge can throw that case out of court,' Williams said, referring to the innocence until proven guilty law. 'Newspapers are only supposed to get what's on the front [of an incident report].'
Williams did not release the name of the suspect, but he said Ellis County newspapers, including this one, are only allowed to view the front page of an incident report. The back pages of the reports, he said, are investigative material and could place a suspect or victims' lives in jeopardy.
'The front [page] has a little summary, but you can't print the entire address, date of birth, and Social Security number,' he said.
From now on, sheriff reports will be regulated more tightly, Williams said, with only the front pages able for viewing.