An Ohio appeals court has ruled a juvenile court judge in contempt for barring Cincinnati Enquirer reporters from covering the cases of 6 teens charged with beating a man.
The Ohio 1st District Court of Appeals on Tuesday gave Hamilton County Juvenile Judge Tracie Hunter until Thursday afternoon to reverse her earlier order against allowing Enquirer coverage of proceedings. A message was left for her Wednesday morning.
The Enquirer reports (http://cin.ci/162Djyw ) that it considered Hunter's earlier order against publishing the juveniles' names a violation of the First Amendment press freedom rights. Editor Carolyn Washburn says The Enquirer is pleased that the judge has been required to comply with the law.
The juveniles were charged last summer with badly beating a man police said they targeted because they were bored.
Judge Hunter said in a response released Wednesday:
"The tenets and policies of Juvenile Court require Juvenile Court Judges to do what is in the best interest of children. Children are treated differently than adults in order to rehabilitate. While the laws protect the public's right to know, and the media's first amendment rights to publish, these same laws require a balancing act when dealing with juveniles, which allows juvenile court judges to weigh the public interest versus the potential harm to a child when making a determination whether or not to open or close a proceeding."