Chicago Sun-Times reporter Jim DeRogatis can decline to answer questions in R. Kelly’s child-pornography trial, Judge Vincent Gaughan ruled today.
Gaughan maintained that his Friday ruling barring Derogatis from invoking a reporter’s privilege still stood, but said that Derogatis is nonetheless protected against testifying about his receipt and handling of the tape by his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. Gaughan said he interpreted the Illinois reporter’s privilege as only protecting journalists from revealing their sources.
The judge reaffirmed his order that DeRogatis must hand over any notes he has from his interview with Edwards in 2002. However, because the defense has previously argued that DeRogatis himself might have committed a crime by copying a tape that depicts child pornography, the judge ruled that DeRogatis didn’t have to testify. Instead, DeRogatis could plead the Fifth, despite new defense claims that he wouldn’t be prosecuted since the statute of limitations has run out.