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A federal judge on Saturday directed the Los Angeles Times to amend a story about a California police detective who was accused of working with the Mexican mafia after sealed court documents were accidentally made available online.
The article described a plea agreement between prosecutors and 45-year-old detective John Saro Balian. But the plea deal, which was supposed to be filed under seal, was accidentally made available in a public online database of federal court documents, according to the Times.
The article goes on to state the following:
Shortly after the article was posted on Saturday morning, Balian’s attorney sought a temporary restraining order, which the judge granted later that afternoon.
“To the extent any article is published prior to issuance of this order, it shall be deleted and removed forthwith,” U.S. District Judge John F. Walter’s wrote in a ruling.
Following the decision, the Times removed any references about the sealed agreement, though pledged to challenge the ruling.
“We believe that once material is in the public record, it is proper and appropriate to publish it if it is newsworthy,” said the Times’ executive editor Norman Pearlstine.
Fox News further reported:
Detective Balian pleaded guilty last week to three counts, including lying to investigators about his ties to organized crime, accepting a bribe and obstructing justice after tipping off a top criminal about a federal raid, the Los Angeles Times reported.
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