A man who was quickly falsely accused and branded a “selfie stalker” by the public and the media isn’t going down without a fight. Ben Seibert whose photo was on the phone of a crime victim is suing Nancy Grace for defamation. Grace has refused to retract her statements that he is a “selfie stalker” and has continually aired his photo despite him being cleared by police. She has incorrectly and repeatedly told millions of viewers that Seibert invaded a woman’s home and snapped a photo of himself on her phone. While reporting on a home invasion case in Denver, Colorado. Grace incorrectly stated that Ben Seibert had snapped a selfie with the crime victim’s phone before leaving. She said that this was a “textbook serial killer’s calling card.” She even said his name at least once. Police discovered that the photo was actually from Seibert’s Facebook page and that he was not even in Colorado at the time.
Of course, the Internet erupted over Seibert’s “guilt”.
Many amateur sleuthers called Seibert a “weirdo, sicko, rapist, and a pervert”.
Despite the police clearing him, Grace did not recant her claims and in fact continued to accuse him causing him more social media harassment.
Seibert is seeking $100,000 in damages. Seibert said that Grace humiliated him and her commentary has gone viral. The suit says that Grace doesn’t check facts and doesn’t care. Seibert’s lawyer hopes the case will give courage to other victims of Grace to come forward and stop allowing her to roll over them. He noted her controversial TV style calling it unethical behavior harkening back to when she was an actual prosecutor.
“We’re pretty confident there are other victims,” Seibert’s lawyers told the media.
Denver Metro Crime Stoppers released Seibert’s photo on January 29th as a suspect after a woman called police saying that a man entered her home while she was putting her children to bed. Police said the woman was afraid because she believed the man used her phone. Further investigation, which people did not wait for, showed that Seibert was in California working when the woman called police. Seibert voluntarily contacted police after friends said his photo was being associated with a home invasion. Seibert also said that Crime Stoppers refused to stop publishing his photo. They are named as a plaintiff as well in the lawsuit. Mike Mills, board president of Metro Denver Crime Stoppers, told the media that police agencies choose when to release and retract crime alerts.
“When we heard there was a mistake, or that it had been retracted, we pulled it off Facebook, we pulled it off Twitter, we pulled it off our website,” Mills said.
The lawsuit points out a few of the many instances that Grace has made “outrageous and defamatory” comments on television and notes she was admonished for unethical conduct a disproportionate amount of times while she was a prosecutor for just 9 years.