Franklin judge rejects motions in CBS News videographer’s assault case

A Franklin Municipal Court judge has denied a motion to dismiss charges against a freelance CBS News videographer who allegedly assaulted three men at a Carlisle football game while trying to take video of Brooke Skylar Richardson and her family.

In an entry dated Nov. 8, Judge Ronald Ruppert denied that motion as well as a motion to compel discovery seeking personnel and disciplinary records, emails and texts of the arresting officers as well as calls for service to the Richardson home.

The motions were filed Oct. 8 by attorneys representing David Sapp, 52, of Centerville, Utah.

Sapp was part of a six-person CBS News team that went to the football game Sept. 13 to gather video for a news report about Richardson’s high-profile murder trial. He claimed the state’s assault statute was being used to violate his newsgathering rights that are protected by the Ohio and U.S. constitutions.

MORE: Videographer files response in Carlisle football game assault case

Richardson, 20, was found not guilty on charges of aggravated murder, involuntary manslaughter and child endangering but was convicted of abuse of a corpse the day before the game. She was accused of having a baby in secret, murdering her and burying her in the backyard in May 2017. She was sentenced to seven days in jail — but credited for time served — and three years community control earlier on the day of the game.

According to Carlisle police, officers working security were told at the end of the game that there was a fight happening behind the home stands, according to a police report. They found multiple men wrestling with another man on the ground at Laughlin Field.

The three men who were involved in the fight, including the head of the school’s football boosters program, told police that Sapp “was attempting to record the Richardson family and was under the bleachers.” They said they told Sapp he needed to leave and Sapp struck them with his camera, according to police.

Sapp’s attorney claimed a woman complained to football support staff about Sapp shooting video, and three men confronted him. Sapp allegedly kicked or kneed two of the men in the groin and struck one in the head with his camera. Sapp’s attorney also claimed the men were “government actors” motivated by “media animus” because one of the men was a Carlisle schools custodial worker and was the high school boosters president.

Ruppert ruled that Sapp’s First Amendment rights were not violated, so he declined to dismiss the charges. He also ruled that Sapp’s requested material was not connected to the charges in this case.

Report: Videographer charged with assault who tried to film Richardson family at Carlisle football game

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