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News Posted on October 6, 2016

Professor Pruitt Comments on Defamation Suit for Sacramento Bee

Professor Lisa R. Pruitt commented for the Sacramento Bee on the case of a sexual offender who is suing his victim because her family called him a rapist on social media.  Pruitt’s comments were also referenced in an article published by the Washington Post.

The man was accused of rape, but following two hung-jury trials, he pleaded no contest to an assault charge. The woman’s family later posted statements identifying the man as a rapist, prompting him to file a defamation suit.

“It’s really hard to win these cases because of speech protections,” Pruitt said. In this instance, the case was widely publicized in the media, and the victim’s family members were commenting on a matter of public interest, said Pruitt.

Lisa R. Pruitt, Martin Luther King, Jr. Professor at UC Davis School of Law, is a scholar whose recent work explores the legal relevance of rural spatiality, including how it inflects dimensions of gender, race, and ethnicity.  Pruitt's work also considers rural-urban difference in transnational and international contexts.