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Wisc. man gets 18-month probation sentence in criminal libel case

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  1. Libel and Privacy
A Wisconsin Realtor convicted of criminal defamation was sentenced Thursday to 18 months on probation for writing on a local industry…

A Wisconsin Realtor convicted of criminal defamation was sentenced Thursday to 18 months on probation for writing on a local industry Web site that another Realtor was linked to the Russian mob.

Kent Haluska, 26, pleaded no contest to the three misdemeanor charges, the Green Bay Press-Gazette said. Authorities alleged that in one instance, on April 4, Haluska wrote on the network ActiveRain.com about the woman identified as M.S.: "Russians don’t shave their legs or armpits. Therefore, M.S. is very hairy."  

Haluska was also banned from working in real estate for a year as part of his punishment, The Press-Gazette reported.

Police investigators tracked Haluska down using the IP address for the posts. He was arrested at home on May 20, in what became a rare case of the state turning to a criminal libel statute.