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Pittsburgh reporter found guilty of trespassing

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Pittsburgh reporter found guilty of trespassing

  • A Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reporter, cited along with another reporter and a cameraman for trespassing at a chemical plant, was found guilty and ordered to pay a fine.

Nov. 17, 2003 — A district court judge found Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reporter Carl Prine guilty last week of trespassing on a chemical plant, and ordered him to pay a $25 fine plus court costs. Prine and two other reporters walked into the plant for a story about lax security.

Tribune-Review editor Frank Craig said the newspaper will appeal.

Prine, “60 Minutes” reporter Steve Kroft and freelance cameraman Gregory E. Andracke teamed up for the story. CBS News spokesman Kevin Tedesco said the three walked around the Neville Chemical Plant for 15 to 20 minutes “undetected and unmolested.” Plant officials spotted the reporters after they had left the grounds, Tedesco said, and ordered them to return to the plant and wait for police to arrive. The reporters followed that order.

Each of the three men were later mailed citations by the Neville Island Police Department.

Craig said the Tribune-Review has published several stories about lax security at chemical and industrial plants, and the reporters were simply working on another such story. Security at the Neville Chemical Plant is so vulnerable, Craig said, editors at the newspaper felt it was important to demonstrate it by trespassing.

“A reporter going out on that kind of story shouldn’t be detained or arrested,” Craig said, “but given the nature of the story, that was a risk we were willing to take.”

District Court Judge Carla Swearingen found Prine guilty Nov. 10 and ordered him to pay a $25 fine plus court costs. Tedesco said Andracke pled guilty, while Kroft is still waiting to receive his citation in the mail. Tedesco declined to comment on whether CBS will fight the fine.


© 2003 The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

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