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1at Amendment/slander

Defamation Law Discussion Forum

1at Amendment/slander

Postby Nicolas » Wed Dec 07, 2016 8:07 am

I have a roommate who has been accused by women on more than one occasion of raping them. If I call him a raper while around the house, is this slander? In your opinion am I protected by the 1st amendment?
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1at Amendment/slander

Postby treadway86 » Thu Dec 08, 2016 5:43 pm

Hi Ali,

First off, I cannot provide specific legal advice here.  Local laws and court rulings can affect how a particular case might be decided differently in different places.  For a legal opinion, you would need to consult an attorney in your area.  However, I am happy to talk about the issue of slander and the First Amendment in general terms.

Slander is not protected by the First Amendment, and calling someone a rapist certainly is defamatory.  If it is true, that would be a defense however.  Of course, it would only be slander if someone else hears it.  If you only communicate it to him and no one else overhears, that would not meet the definition of slander since his reputation was not defamed.

Legal issues aside, if he has been accused, it is likely a sensitive issue for him.  You are probably more likely to get a punch in the face than a slander suit.  But you know him better than I do.

- Mike  
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