You are hereSalon: ACORN hoax victim files lawsuit against O'Keefe and Giles
Salon: ACORN hoax victim files lawsuit against O'Keefe and Giles
Falsely portrayed as promoting teenage prostitution in the ACORN videotapes, Juan Carlos Vera is seeking damages
July 14, 2010- One of the many victims of Andrew Breitbart’s ACORN video hoax is finally striking back in court, against pseudo-pimp James O’Keefe and pseudo-ho Hannah Giles if not Breitbart himself. Former San Diego ACORN office employee Juan Carlos Vera, who was falsely portrayed in a heavily edited videotape as conspiring with O’Keefe and Giles to traffic underage girls across the Mexican border, is suing both of the right-wing filmmakers, seeking $75,000 in damages under California’s privacy statutes.
Filed last week in the U.S. District Court in San Diego, Vera’s brief complaint claims that O’Keefe, Giles and up to 20 unnamed parties violated his "reasonable expectation of privacy" by conspiring to secretly videotape him and then posting the tapes on the Internet without his consent, causing him to lose his job and other damages. Indeed, as the complaint notes, the "pimp and prostitute" explicitly asked Vera whether their conversation would be confidential.
The notorious tape featuring Vera -- with his friendly smile and hesitant English -- was aired repeatedly on Fox News and cited as proof of the most incendiary charge against ACORN by conservative Web impresario Breitbart: namely, that the anti-poverty organization was in fact a criminal conspiracy to promote teenage prostitution.
But as California Attorney General Jerry Brown discovered when he investigated the ACORN matter last spring, the actual meaning of the Vera tape was severely distorted by dishonest editing to suggest that he had agreed to help smuggle young girls for O’Keefe’s mythical brothel. To obtain unedited versions of the tapes from O’Keefe, Brown gave him and Giles immunity from any criminal prosecution under the state privacy statutes.