Legal Expert: UCSD Could Face Suit Over Photo, Headline
Student Run Paper 'The Koala' Published Questionable Photo Of Female Student
6:57 AM, Feb 17, 2011
A local law professor told 10News the University of California, San Diego may have opened itself up to a lawsuit after a student-run newspaper printed an obscene photo targeting a female student.Thomas Jefferson School of Law Professor David Steinberg said a recent article published in The Koala is obscene and against the law.The article in question has a picture of UCSD student Carli Thomas with a man's genitalia in her mouth. The accompanying headline reads: "Carli Thomas is a Fat Whore.""I don't think it's free speech when it's obscene. There's sexual harassment," Thomas told 10News after she failed to get any help from the school's administration.UCSD sent 10News the following statement after refusing to comment on camera:
"Under the First Amendment, the University is severely limited in the actions it can take in response to content published by students."
"It is not free speech," Steinberg said. "It is obscenity. It's a criminal act The picture is not protected by the U.S. Constitution. The picture is obscenity. It is a criminal act under California law."Steinberg said UCSD needs to take action against the paper and the students behind the article."My advice would be: find the students who printed this and kick them out of campus, expel them," Steinberg said.Kris Gregorian, the editor of the Koala and the person responsible for the picture and article, said he would not answer any questions unless 10News gave him a case of beer. However, 10News does not pay for interviews, thus no conversation with Gregorian took place.Steinberg said UCSD could also be in trouble because taxpayer money may have been used to support the Koala paper and its staff.10News learned the Koala has an office on campus.