San Francisco, CA asked in Criminal Law, Family Law, Internet Law and Sexual Harassment for California

Q: Publishing court documents in the child molester's case

Hello! Is it legal to publish our news site the transcript of secretly made conversations of a child molester by his relatives (which is a Exhibit and main Evidence in Superior court in California)? We did redact all the personal information of victim and her parents, but the name of Defendant (who is the victim's relative) not redacted. In this Exhibits defendant is talking about very personal and intimate details. In other recording made by local DA's office the victim in details tells the story of sexual abuse by her granddad. It's all public record, but we don't want to have legal problems with the family.

Can they sue us for making those documents public? What we should keep in mind while doing so. Thanks!

P.S. In you are located in San Francisco or Bay Area, plz let me know, if you can provide consultations on that and some other issues. I'm looking for Media and Telecommunications lawyer in the area.

1 Lawyer Answer
William John Light
William John Light
Answered
  • Riverside, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: You are asking for a legal opinion about a specific case, with very few facts and no compensation to the attorney for the risk in giving an opinion.

In general, unsealed records in a Court file are public records. There are protections for victims of sexual assault, and for minors. Whether or not those protections have been waived or are inapplicable is unknown.

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