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Sheriff: Bloggers, journalists should be held accountable for false allegations in Rondini case

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) -- Tuscaloosa County Sheriff Ron Abernathy, along with two investigators, have been dismissed in the Megan Rondini case.

Rondini's family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against several defendants in the wake of her suicide, including the University of Alabama. The family announced in February that they dropped the lawsuit after reaching an agreement with the university. 

Related: Family of former UA student file wrongful death lawsuit against alleged rapist, university, and sheriff's office

Sheriff Abernathy said Wednesday that the Alabama Attorney General's Office reviewed the case and approved investigators' actions. A federal district court decided the case and dismissed all civil litigation against Abernathy and the investigators. 

"The investigation that was the subject of the lawsuit has been examined thoroughly and completely by several entities," Abernathy said. "Actions taken by the sheriff's office investigators have been affirmed."

According to Sheriff Abernathy, some victims have since been afraid to come forward to report cases because they feared their information would be made known on social media sites. The sheriff says bloggers, out-of-town journalists, and anyone who perpetrated the information spread on social media should be held accountable for their actions. 

"We hope this instance will serve as a lesson to all that social media cannot and should not be the venue in which a case is tried," Abernathy said. 

The sheriff went on to say that those who perpetrated the spread of false allegations on social media should expect civil litigation to prevent these instances from occurring in the future. 


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