Chicago TV Station Accused of Airing Picture of Wrong Man in Sexual Assault Case, 'Destroying Evidence' after Libel Threats

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CLTV was accused of running a photo of a man with the same name as a security guard accused of sexual assault. (Credit : CLTV)

Chicago TV news station CLTV is being accused of and sued for airing “a picture of the wrong man” in a 2011 sexual assault story and then of covering its tracks to hide the alleged error, the Chicago Tribune reported.

CLTV is Chicagoland Television News, Inc. and is owned by Tribune Co. It is a “24-hour cable news channel” that is in a “partnership with WGN-TV,” according to its website.

According to the Chicago Tribune, which noted it is owned by the same parent company as CLTV, CLTV did show a picture of a man named Christopher Buchanan with its report on the accusations that Chicago Transit Authority security guard Christopher Buchanan sexually assaulted a teenage boy who “allegedly … jumped a turnstile at an L stop in February 2011.”  However, CLTV apparently showed a picture of the wrong man with the same name.

The wrong photo was aired Feb. 5 and carried a “caption stating the he was a suspect in the sexual assault of a boy on or near CTA property,” WLS, Chicago AM radio station 890, reported.

And, when the lawyer for the man pictured wrongly on air contacted CLTV about the error, “CLTV destroyed evidence of the defamation by removing the story from its online archives,” the Chicago Tribune reported the lawsuit claims.

WLS reported that Buchanan’s lawsuit “claims CLTV improperly fact-checked the story and failed to ensure the story was true and accurate, including the identity of the crime’s alleged perpetrator.”

Because of the error, Buchanan’s lawsuit claims he had to move two times and that he “suffered severe emotional distress including fear and intimidation from community members.”

Buchanan’s lawsuit was filed Feb. 1 according to WLS.  According to a Feb. 7 Chicago CBS Local report, the teenager involved in the alleged sexual abuse case by the other Christopher Buchanan has filed a lawsuit against “the guard, the CTA and the transit agency’s security company.”

iMediaEthics searched for “Christopher Buchanan” on CLTV’s website Feb. 13. Four articles were produced but none are about the alleged sexual assault.

iMediaEthics has written to CLTV for comment and will update with any response.

Hat Tip: @Constituently

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Chicago TV Station Accused of Airing Picture of Wrong Man in Sexual Assault Case, ‘Destroying Evidence’ after Libel Threats

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