Justice of the Peace Choose in Don Lemon Assault Case Recommends Plaintiff Be Sanctioned For Deleting Proof

Don Lemon CNN

CNN Don Lemon

CNN anchor Don Lemon noticed a authorized victory not too long ago, after a Justice of the Peace choose in his assault case beneficial that the accuser be sanctioned for partaking in “egregious conduct,” together with deleting social media posts and messages by which he alludes to paying a buddy (and potential witness) if he received his courtroom case.

In a ruling issued in November, the Justice of the Peace in a federal district courtroom in New York mentioned Lemon’s accuser, Dustin Hice, ought to be ordered to pay a portion of the CNN anchor’s authorized charges and beneficial that Lemon be granted “an adversarial inference instruction” as soon as the case goes to trial in January. Hice has filed an objection to the Justice of the Peace’s suggestion, and the trial choose has not but dominated.

That instruction would permit Lemon’s authorized workforce to inform the jury finally deciding the case that Hice had deliberately deleted or destroyed proof (together with textual content messages containing homophobic language and pictures that present him close to Lemon’s dwelling) and that the jury might presume that the deliberately misplaced or destroyed proof would have been unfavorable to Hice.

Hice’s lawyer informed PEOPLE that he’s contesting the Justice of the Peace’s suggestion. “That difficulty is pending earlier than the district courtroom and Lemon’s place has not been adopted by the district courtroom at the moment. We’re contesting the Justice of the Peace’s suggestion,” lawyer Robert Barnes informed PEOPLE in an emailed assertion.

Lemon, 55, has emphatically denied the allegations specified by the lawsuit — filed in August 2019 and stemming from an alleged July 2018 incident — which claims that the anchor bodily and verbally attacked Hice, a bartender, throughout an evening out within the Hamptons in Lengthy Island, New York.

These claims have been resurfaced in latest weeks, as CNN works to handle the fallout from one other of its notable faces: Chris Cuomo, who was fired after the community reviewed his involvement within the protection of his brother, former Gov. Andrew Cuomo, towards sexual harassment expenses.

RELATED: Chris Cuomo Was Accused of Sexual Misconduct by Former Colleague Days Earlier than CNN Firing

Within the lawsuit towards Lemon, Hice, who was working as a bartender at The Outdated Range Pub in Sagaponack, claims he acknowledged Lemon throughout an evening out with colleagues at Murf’s Backstreet Tavern in Sag Harbor.

He claims he supplied to purchase Lemon a cocktail, however the Emmy-winning journalist declined the gesture, telling Hice he was “simply making an attempt to have a very good time.”

The 2 had no additional interplay till later that evening, when Hice claims Lemon approached him and “put his hand down the entrance of his personal shorts, and vigorously rubbed his genitalia, eliminated his hand and shoved his index and center fingers into [Hice’s] mustache,” the lawsuit alleges.

Lemon then allegedly pressed Hice on his sexual preferences, asking, “Do you want p— or d—?” as he continued to shove his fingers into Hice’s face with “aggression and hostility.”

A “shocked and humiliated” Hice mentioned he left the bar after the “demeaning unprovoked and offensive assault,” and Lemon was gone upon his return 5-10 minutes later.

The newest authorized determination finds that Hice supplied contradictory testimony throughout an earlier deposition in regards to the case, and that he engaged in “egregious” habits after submitting his swimsuit. That features selectively destroying textual content messages, deleting social media posts, together with his whole Twitter account, only one week after his swimsuit was filed), and concealing unfavorable witnesses.

That habits, Lemon’s attorneys steered in courtroom filings, “instantly undermined [Hice’s] factual allegations and claims of ’emotional misery.’ “

The federal district courtroom Justice of the Peace choose at the very least partially agreed, not too long ago recommending the CNN anchor be awarded “cheap lawyer’s charges related to Hice’s deletion of proof.”

RELATED: Chris Cuomo Will No Longer Host His SiriusXM Present, Citing an ‘Terribly Tough’ Time for His Household

A CNN spokesperson beforehand alleged in a press release that Hice had lashed out towards the community on social media, and had made extortion makes an attempt towards Lemon up to now. A supply earlier informed PEOPLE Hice’s workforce requested Lemon for $1.5 million, a sum the anchor refused to pay. Hice’s lawyer dismissed these claims as “victim-blaming.”

“The plaintiff on this lawsuit has beforehand displayed a sample of contempt for CNN on his social media accounts,” the CNN assertion, obtained by PEOPLE, learn. “This declare follows his unsuccessful threats and calls for for an exorbitant amount of cash from Don Lemon. Don categorically denies these claims and this matter doesn’t advantage any additional remark at the moment.”

Hice’s former lawyer Andrew Miltenberg beforehand hit again at CNN’s claims concerning his social media exercise, telling PEOPLE in a press release: “The assertion that Mr. Hice would put himself by the painful means of submitting a sexual assault lawsuit towards his attacker all as a result of he does not like a cable TV station is ludicrous. It is shameful that the CNN assault machine is resorting to victim-blaming to be able to detract from Mr. Lemon’s gross sexual misconduct.”

Miltenberg withdrew from the case in February. Hice is now represented by Robert Barnes, an lawyer and pro-Trump YouTuber.

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A witness within the case, who earlier testified that he had seen Lemon contact Hice’s face the night the alleged incident occurred, mentioned in a later deposition that he may not keep in mind whether or not it had occurred.

That witness — who has since been withdrawn — added that Hice had additionally insinuated that he would pay him in trade for favorable testimony, writing in an Instagram message: “You understand if I get $$ I will care for you, dude.”

Requested about that message in a sworn deposition taken August 6, Hice mentioned: “Sure, apparently I used to be providing him cash.”

The case is scheduled to go to trial in January.

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