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Cleveland Man Sues WOIO for Defamation

Courthouse News Service is reporting a high school teacher in Cleveland, OH, is suing CBS affiliate WOIO for defamation after the station reported he had child pornography on his school computer despite warnings from the man’s lawyer the information was false.

In a complaint filed by Georgio Sabino III naming WOIO, LLC and reporter Ed Gallek, “Sabino says, his ‘former legal counsel contacted defendant Gallek and informed him that child pornography was not found on any of plaintiff’s computers and that any statements to the contrary were and would be false and asked defendant Gallek not to air the broadcast.’”

The station posted a story on its website saying child pornography was found on a computer Sabino used at the high school while teaching. In the complaint, Sabino said the station removed it after a second conversation with his lawyers.

Sabino’s attorney also “demanded that [WOIO] schedule a television broadcast setting forth the truth pertaining to the false and defamatory statements made by defendants in the initial WOIO publication and the WOIO republication. … As of the date of the filing of this complaint, defendant WOIO has refused to comply with the 2739 demand.” (2739 refers to the Ohio legal code.)

Sabino, who maintains the charges were brought by two failing students who were trying to get him fired, is seeking compensatory and punitive damages for defamation, negligence, invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

TVSpy has reached out to WOIO general manager Bill Applegate for comment but has not heard back.

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