News that United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez indicted James Lapin of threatening to assault a member of Congress went viral and proved to be riddled with false information.
Now, as of March 11, Lapin can stand upright, innocent of all charges, and works to clear his name.
The ruling was not guilty on all charges and the case is over.
Lapin, 34, Ormond Beach, reached out to the Tampa Dispatch with his court documents seeking clarification and correction.
“My life has been ruined,” Lapin explained during a brief phone call, detailing how his family, particularly his father, have also faced horrible backlash, abuse and harassment.
The initial report detailed Lapin’s alleged attempt target Nancy Pelosi with verbal attacks and threats. The press release, published here and many other media outlets, exaggerated those remarks to death threats.
Search Lapin’s name and you’ll find dozens of outlets reporting from the same press release, so where is the follow up?
“I got cussed out,” Lapin says of his efforts to reach out to major outlets for a correction, amendment or a new headline showing his innocence.
The verdict is clear from the court: NOT GUILTY.
What remains unclear is the media’s resolve to report on facts NOT just agendas.