Judge allows TV station to show face of man accused in sex-predator report

Friday, February 6th 2004, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ A federal judge Thursday lifted an order barring a TV station from broadcasting the name and face of a man accused in an investigative report on Internet sex predators.

In reversing course, U.S. District Judge Scott O. Wright said his temporary restraining order was a ``violation of the First Amendment's prohibition against prior restraints.''

The judge had slapped the prohibition on CBS-affiliate KCTV on Wednesday after the man filed a defamation suit against the station.

The report, part of a five-part series, began airing Thursday night.

KCTV lawyer Bernard Rhodes said that the station was ``happy that the judge has seen that the First Amendment protects this important news series.''

The plaintiff is identified in the lawsuit only as ``John Doe.'' Attorney Kevin Baldwin, who represents the man, did not return calls seeking comment.

The lawsuit was filed after KCTV broadcast an ad for the story during the Super Bowl Sunday. The ad, which showed several men's faces, continued to air this week and was shown on the station's Web site.