• An indictment of course can be issued under seal as well with a judicial gag order if the bench determines it is appropriate. If the grand jury can lawfully protect the accuser the term minor child is used in stead of the name to insure anonymity. Once placed into the public domain it is a matter of good taste and common sense. To liable someone requires the statement to be untrue " An untruthful statement about a person, published in writing or through broadcast media, that injures the person's reputation or standing in the community." if the statement has a scintilla of truth or is mere opinion it is protected speech.

    November 13, 2007 at 2:19 a.m.

  • To be clear, we're not threatening to expose anyone. I don't know of any newspaper that would go to court to keep secret the identity of someone doing something illegal or libeling someone. I checked with a few media lawyers on this point. Perhaps other newspapers don't warn you, but you might want to look more into how safe and hidden you really are on the Internet. It's great people can get involved on the Internet. We want to encourage readers to do so and think they can while still being aware that free speech carries legal risks.

    November 12, 2007 at 9:52 p.m.

  • Chris, Thanks for sharing this information.  It's been extemely upsetting to see some of the postings on the topic of Mr. Ratcliff's alleged crime.  Especially from one or two particular posters who were determined to discredit the accuser.  Thanks for your prompt action in deleting the comments. 

    November 12, 2007 at 9:14 a.m.

  • Thanks Mr.Cobbler for deleting those posts.It's a shame how one will do almost anything just to TRY and make things right for those whom are wrong.

    November 12, 2007 at 8:33 a.m.