Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. #1
    CPA Network Rep
    Join Date
    February 13th, 2006
    Boca Raton
    Colo. man charged with libel over Craigslist posts -New precedent being set?
    Colo. man charged with libel over Craigslist posts

    Tue Dec 2, 5:57 am ETFORT COLLINS, Colo. A man accused of making unflattering online comments about his former lover and her attorney on Craigslist has been charged with two counts of criminal libel.

    "It's not a charge you see a lot of," Larimer County District Attorney Larry Abrahamson said of the 1800s-era state law that can put people in jail for the content of their speech or writing.

    Abrahamson charged J.P. Weichel, 40, of Loveland, in October over posts he allegedly made on Craigslist's "Rants and Rave" section.

    The case began when a woman told Loveland police in December 2007 about postings made about her between November and December 2007. Court records show posts that suggested she traded sexual acts for legal services from her attorney and mentioned a visit from child services because of an injury to her child.

    Police obtained search warrants for records from Web sites including Craigslist before identifying Weichel as the suspect. Weichel shares a child with the woman.

    Weichel, confronted by detectives at his workplace in August, said he was "just venting," according to court records.

    No phone listing could be found for Weichel, and his attorney, Michael Liggett of Fort Collins, didn't immediately return a message left Monday by The Associated Press.

    Libel is commonly seen as a civil case. Denver attorney Steve Zansberg, who specializes in First Amendment law, said prosecutors seeking criminal libel cases could have a "chilling" effect on free speech in Colorado, particularly over the Internet.

    Abrahamson wasn't so sure. He said it is up to police departments to pursue cases.

    Zansberg contends the law is outdated, is unclear about stating opinions and is written in such a way that dead people could be victims of criminal libel.

    The statute allows prosecution for speech "tending to blacken the memory of one who is dead" or to "expose the natural defects of one who is alive, and thereby to expose him to public hatred, contempt or ridicule." Criminal libel carries a punishment of up to 18 months in prison.

    So does this set a new precedent for what can and cannot be said "legally" on online forums and other sites that allow "free" speech?


    [B]Matthew "Chipmunk" Sclier[/B]
    Affiliate Relations Manager
    [B]E-Mail:[/B] [][/email]
    [B]Phone:[/B] (561) 499-3329 ext.126
    [B]AIM/Y!:[/B] ChipmunkLF l [B]ICQ: [/B] 48437188
    [URL=][/URL]: 100% Exclusive Cash Advance Offers

  2. #2
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
    Join Date
    November 20th, 2005
    The defense against libel (or slander) is the "truth." The part about the visit from Protective Services should be verifiable (if it is true). However, the rest of the "stuff" might be difficult to document.
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
    Cute Personal Checks and Business Checks
    If you are too busy to laugh you are too busy.

  3. #3
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Rochester, NY
    I think a more important comment to be made is:

    Just because you might have the legal privilege or right to post something on a website doesn't mean that you should.

    With the number of attorneys looking for work these days, and the litigious nature of people, especially former lovers, wives, husbands, etc... why take unnecessary risks that only bring short term gratification?

    We all know that the law has become (and maybe always was) a slippery slope scenario. People need to be smart about what they do.
    Kevin Webster
    twitter: levelanalytics

    Kayak Fishing
    Web Analytics and Affiliate Marketing

  4. #4
    Join Date
    November 18th, 2008
    I find it surprising that any state has criminal libel laws any more. Most states had them at some a century ago, but fighting 1st amendment cases has been the go to fight for lawyers for so long, I would have thought they got them all knocked down.

    I am sure if he fights it long enough, the state courts will overturn this law like other states have.

  5. Newsletter Signup

+ Reply to Thread

Similar Threads

  1. Double Commission charged
    By ShepherdAutoParts in forum ShareASale - SAS
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: August 28th, 2010, 02:20 PM
  2. Colo. rejects abreviation of I love tofu license
    By oranges in forum Virtual Family and Off-Topic
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: April 12th, 2009, 05:46 PM
  3. Vet charged
    By charpaula in forum Virtual Family and Off-Topic
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: June 12th, 2007, 11:00 AM
  4. Replies: 13
    Last Post: July 2nd, 2004, 09:08 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts