Student’s Suit Against Blogger Settled

A high school student and his family have dropped their lawsuit against a blogger and anonymous posters to her blog site in a case that arose from online comments about a rape investigation involving two football players at Steubenville High School.

At issue were suggestions in those comments that the student who filed suit might have been involved in the incident but never charged.

The Associated Press reported that as part of the settlement announced Thursday, the operator of the crime blog acknowledged there was no evidence of the student’s involvement in the rape, while the student apologized in a statement for tweets he sent the night of the alleged attack.

The settlement is a victory for free speech, said Scott Greenwood, who represented for free the anonymous bloggers on behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio.

Anonymous speech has long been protected in this country, he said, and it’s important to preserve that right, especially when people are feeling intimidated about an issue they’re commenting on.

The blogger said no postings were retracted, no commentary will be restricted in the future and no money changed hands.