One of our own died on account of this group, it is alleged.
$105 Million Lawsuit Filed After Perverted Justice/Dateline NBC - To Catch A Predator Suicide
NEW YORK, NEW YORK (AP 7/23/07) - The sister of a man who was suspected of being a sexual predator and killed himself as the cameras of Dateline NBC closed in on him sued NBC Universal Inc. on Monday for $105 million, accusing it of taking over police duties and then failing to protect her brother.
Patricia Conradt brought the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Manhattan after her brother, Louis William Conradt Jr., shot himself last November in Terrell, Texas, a Dallas suburb, as police knocked at his door and a Dateline NBC: To Catch a Predator camera crew waited in the street.
In the lawsuit, Patricia Conradt accused NBC Universal of engaging in a pattern of racketeering activity by bribing police across the country to let it film encounters with suspects it lures to a home where it has set up cameras.
She said in the lawsuit NBC steam-rolled police to arrest her brother, also known as Bill, after telling police he failed to show up at a sting operation 35 miles away.
She said her brother was unable to defend himself when police, NBC employees and associates swarmed his yard, creating a relationship between NBC and her brother similar to the relationship a prison has with an inmate.
The suicide was reasonably foreseeable, her lawsuit said. At this time, the defendant wore the robe of a state official and Bill wore the shackles of a detainee. Having trespassed and invaded upon Bill's property to broadcast a spectacle to millions, the defendant took no more steps toward protecting him than are received by a gladiator or bull.
The lawsuit said Conradt Jr., an assistant prosecutor for Rockwall County, shot himself after he was accused of engaging in a sexually explicit online chat with an adult posing as a 13-year-old boy. It said a police officer at the scene of the shooting told a Dateline producer: "That'll make good TV."
Conradt Jr. became a target in a program that combined with the activist group Perverted Justice to set up shop for four days last November in a two-story home in neighboring Collin County, where 24 men were arrested after being accused of arranging to meet boys or girls there.
Conradt Jr., 57, was among several people who were accused of contacting Perverted Justice decoys online but never showed up at the house.
A spokeswoman for NBC Universal, Jenny Tartikoff, said: We have not yet received the lawsuit, but we plan to defend ourselves vigorously as we believe the claims in the suit to be completely without merit.
In the lawsuit, Patricia Conradt said her brother was a nice, quiet, soft-spoken, hardworking, methodical, thorough and intelligent individual who had worked for 20 years as Kaufman County's district attorney before giving up the job five years ago. She said he also had worked as a Terrell municipal court judge.
She said NBC was concerned more with its own profits than with pedophilia.
In May, Collin County District Attorney John Roach dropped all charges against the two dozen who were arrested, saying he had no jurisdiction in most of the cases because neither the suspects nor the decoys were in the county during the online chats. He said the remainder of the cases had to be dropped because neither police nor NBC could guarantee the chat logs were authentic and complete.
One of your own died as a result of his having shot himself, it is alleged.
It is tragic but many of the things we choose to do to ourselves are.
It will be interesting to follow this case and see the legal outcome. More interesting to me personally is the continued diminishing concept of personal responsibility in our society in general.
The sister may as well have alleged that the devil made him do it, IMHO.
[This message was edited by Username on 07-24-07 at .]
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