Miss Justice | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Miss Justice

Posted By on Tue, May 1, 2007 at 3:45 PM

In last week's Media column, Arkansas Times reporter David Koon weighed 
in on the thorny issue of whether members of the news media should 
participate in online predator stings set up by the police. Such stings 
have become fodder for both local and national news, with breathless 
details of the take-downs reported on most of the Little Rock TV 
stations
and in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

In recent days, yet another interesting issue faced by civilians 
(reporters or not) participating in these stings has been brought to 
the fore: If you're a part of the arrest, you pretty much have to be a 
part of the trial, whether you like it or not.

In this case, the civilian is reigning Miss America Lauren Nelson of 
Lawton, Oklahoma. Nelson got plenty of good publicity earlier this year 
by acting as the chatroom bait for a New York State pedophile sting 
that will be televised by the Fox program "America's Most Wanted." Once 
the wheels started turning to bring the eleven men arrested in the 
sting to trial, however, it was found that Nelson's sense of civic duty 
apparently extended about as far as the focal length of the nearest 
camera.  When told she would likely be called as a witness and could be 
cross-examined by lawyers for the defense, Nelson reportedly informed 
Long Island prosecutors that she wouldn't be returning to New York
to 
testify, thus jeopardizing the cases she helped make

The surge of publicity in recent days seems to have helped change her 
mind. Nelson now says she will testify if prosecutors ask her to.


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