NBC has settled a lawsuit filed by the family of a man who shot himself to death during a sting operation for the network series “To Catch a Predator.”
The show had someone pose as an under-age girl in an Internet chat room, who then invited the “predator” to a rendezvous — where he would be confronted by a camera crew and often, local police.
Louis W. Conradt Jr., an assistant district attorney in Rockwall County, Tex., reportedly sent sexually explicit messages to the person posing as an under-age boy for the show.
That person was a volunteer for Perverted Justice, a group that helps set up stings to catch child sexual predators and served as a paid consultant for the NBC series, The New York Times reported.
The volunteer arranged to meet Conradt on Nov. 5, 2006. When he did not show up at the meeting place, local police — encouraged by NBC, according to the lawsuit — went to arrest Conradt at his home.
As police entered his home — with a camera crew recording the action — Conradt shot himself in the head with a handgun.
His family filed a $105 million lawsuit against NBC last year. In February, a judge declared that a jury “could find that NBC crossed the line from responsible journalism to irresponsible and reckless intrusion into law enforcement.”
NBC and Conradt’s family reached a settlement before a trial could begin, according to The Times.
The network declined to reveal the amount it paid to the family. But NBC spokeswoman Jenny Tartikoff said in a statement: “The matter has been amicably resolved to the satisfaction of both parties.”
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