Inmate had no privacy, so no cause to sue for YouTube clip

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A Lawrence County Jail inmate who sued after a corrections officer videotaped him and posted the clip on YouTube saw his case dismissed this morning when a judge found that he had no privacy rights.

Alvin George White Jr., 51, of Coal Township, whose lengthy criminal history includes convictions for theft, robbery, terroristic threats and drugs, had sought $1 million in a lawsuit he filed by himself last year.

He said that in November 2010, a corrections officer at the jail fell asleep. Another officer, Larry McConohay, came in and began filming his sleeping colleague using a cell phone camera, and then turned the camera on Mr. White.

Mr. McConohay posted the clip on YouTube, according to an order written by U.S. Chief Magistrate Judge Lisa Pupo Lenihan.

Mr. White claimed "mental issues" stemming from his involuntary appearance on YouTube and sued for violation of privacy.

"Incarcerated persons have no right of privacy in prison," Judge Lenihan wrote. "Plaintiff's incarceration is a matter of public record, and therefore, not an intimate fact," she added, so revealing online that he was in jail is also no violation.

Rich Lord: or 412-263-1542.


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