Jacob Hiles, a charter boat captain from Virginia Beach went to Washington, D.C., on January 6, 2021, to “express his support for President Donald Trump by exercising his 1st Amendment rights guaranteed to him under the United States Constitution” is suing CNN for defamation.
Hiles is seeking $37 million in compensatory damages and $350,000 in punitive damages.
According to the lawsuit, a CNN article’s contents were defamatory because “they falsely accuse Hiles of felonious criminal activity of which he was not charged or convicted, either directly or indirectly.”
The lawsuit says the article accuses Hiles of having “the intention to overthrow a sitting government which is one of the gravest felonies in the United States of America even though at the time of publication he had been charged with four Class B misdemeanors and entered a guilty plea to only one nonviolent misdemeanor and resulting in the three other charges being dismissed.”
The lawsuit says CNN acknowledged that Hiles pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor “but continued to mislead their viewers by painting a picture of a violent revolutionary intent on causing violence on January 6, 2021.”
Hiles has received “many credible death threats” due to CNN’s article the lawsuit says.
The suit also says his business has suffered and his young daughter has lost friends and faced difficulties at school due to the article.
According to DOJ:
HILES, Jacob, Case Number: 1:21-cr-155
Charge(s): Entering and Remaining in a Restricted Building; Disorderly and Disruptive Conduct in a Restricted Building; Violent Entry and Disorderly Conduct in a Capitol Building; Parading, Demonstrating, or Picketing in a Capitol Building
Location of Arrest:
Arrested 1/19/21. Initial appearance held 1/22/21.
Charged via criminal information 2/24/21. Arraigned 3/1/21 and pleaded not guilty to counts 1-4.
Plea agreement entered 9/9. Pleaded guilty to count 4.
Sentenced 12/6/2021 to 24 months of probation, 60 hours of community service, $500 restitution.
Jacob Hiles alleges an article the network published in October 2021 has harmed him and led to “many credible death threats.” https://t.co/NbMIqEENuG
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) July 19, 2023