Orleans Parish sheriff suing NY Times over sexual assault op-ed

NEW ORLEANS — The Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office announced that it is suing the New York Times over an op-ed piece on the topic of sexual assault in prison.

According to the sheriff’s office, the story is posted on the Times website and involves claims from a man who was incarcerated in Louisiana.

The  op-ed goes on to include video.  The sheriff’s office says that the video shows portions of Orleans Parish jail property, but that the inmate making the claim was incarcerated in Union Parish.

In a news release announcing the lawsuit, an attorney for the OPSO called the op-ed a ‘false hit piece’ and says that the video produced by the New York Times was an, ‘…intentional and malicious act to defame the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office…’

For nearly a decade, the sheriff’s office has been working under a federal consent decree to improve its facilities and operations.  The OPSO statement announcing the lawsuit says that the Times story has a significant impact on the department’s ability to recruit and retain staff.

Our attempts to reach the New York Times for comment were not immediately returned.