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Judge orders news gag after Walker Middle School rape case records released in error

TAMPA — An inadvertent release of documents in the Walker Middle School rape case prompted a Hillsborough County judge late Thursday to order media outlets not to publish, post or broadcast any reference to the materials.

Hillsborough Circuit Judge Emmett Battles also ordered the immediate removal of any news stories published on the Internet that center on the documents.

"To the extent that such statements or the contents of such statements have been posted on the Internet or in other media, all references to the alleged statements of the defendants in this cause are to be immediately removed," the judge wrote, granting the motion for an emergency order for protection filed by the defense.

WFLA-Ch. 8 obtained statements by the four juvenile defendants who are charged as adults with multiple counts of sexual battery against a flag football teammate. The station posted a story online that remained on its Web site tbo.com for approximately an hour.

More than a dozen people commented on the story before Battles issued his order and the television station removed the article.

The four juveniles charged are Lee Louis Myers, 14; Raymond A. Price-Murray, 14; Randall John Moye III, 14; and Diemante J. Roberts, 15.

Prosecutors alleged at previous court hearings that the four teens sexually assaulted a teammate in a Walker Middle School locker room with a hockey stick and broom handle on multiple occasions.

During a court hearing last week, defense attorney Tim Taylor, who represents Myers, said reports from two medical exams performed on the victim showed no signs of a sexual assault.

The victim first spoke with law enforcement about the assaults on May 6. Assistant State Attorney Kimberly Hindman said the victim's medical exams took place June 2 and June 5.

Kevin Graham can be reached at kgraham@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3433.

Judge orders news gag after Walker Middle School rape case records released in error 07/30/09 [Last modified: Thursday, July 30, 2009 9:50pm]
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