Thursday, June 3, 2010

Rapist Sues Irish Media for Lower Profile

Sun frontImage via Wikipedia
According to an article in The Irish Times, a convicted serial rapist is seeking a permanent injunction against a handful of newspapers to prevent their continued reporting of his address and publication of his photo.

Michael Murray served 13 years of an 18-year sentence for raping four women and sexually asssaulting two others during a six-day reign of terror in 1995 before his release last July. Since Murray's return to society,  according to his attorney, stories have appeared in The Star and The Star on Sunday, including: "Serial Sex Beast Is Free to Roam the Streets" and  "Monster in Our Midst.," as well as The Evening Herald, which ran a photo under the headline "A Danger to Women," and other stories in News of the World and The Sun that refer to Murray as "this beast." Murray's attorney alleges the onslaught of publicity hinders Murray in his efforts to retain employment and causes him to move frequently.

The high court in Dublin must consider Murray's privacy rights, the news media's freedom of speech, and the public's interest in knowing the whereabouts and identity of dangerous individuals. Case law in the U.S. tends to side with the news media in such privacy cases, provided news stories about crimes and convicted felons are reported accurately. If Murray is camera shy and averse to the limelight, it probably would have behooved him not to rape women and terrorize the community, because such conduct tends to generate media attention.

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