Tuesday, May 15, 2001

Suit seeks apology in stunt-tape case

By Patrick Crowley
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        FORT MITCHELL — The case of an Independence teen injured April 23 trying to jump over a moving car while his friends videotaped the stunt spawned a lawsuit filed Monday by the families of the injured teen, the teen who videotaped the stunt and a third teen who witnessed the incident.

        The lawsuit is unusual in that it names no defendants and seeks only an apology. But from whom that apology is to come is not clear.

        Independence lawyer Eric Deters, representing the plaintiffs, said in the lawsuit that he wants to take depositions to determine “who is responsible for the illegal release of the videotape.”

        But also in the lawsuit, Mr. Deters, a candidate for the Republican nomination for Kenton County attorney, claims Kenton County prosecutors authorized Independence police to release the tape.

        The lawsuit said the tape should not have been broadcast on local and national news programs because all of the teens involved are juveniles, and it violated their rights of privacy.

        In the lawsuit, Mr. Deters accuses Kenton County Attorney Garry Edmondson and Kenton County Commonwealth Attorney Bill Crockett of improperly advising police to release the tape.

        Mr. Edmondson will be the incumbent candidate for the GOP nomination for county attorney.

        “Garry Edmondson used the released videotape for the sole purpose of political grandstanding,” said Mr. Deters, who is challenging Mr. Edmondson in next year's primary.

        Mr. Edmondson and Mr. Crockett said they would not comment on the lawsuit because of a gag order imposed by Kenton County District Judge Martin Sheehan.

        Independence police said the boys told them they were mimicking MTV's Jackass, which features outlandish stunts, but MTV producers said no such stunt was ever staged. The four boys maintained they were copying no one.


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