Baltimore Trial....

James Randi --- Wizard ((no email))
05 Jun 93 20:11:46 EDT

A federal jury today exonerated James Randi from
claims made by parapsychologist Eldon Byrd for more than
thirty millions of dollars in damages. Byrd had claimed
injuries to his reputation and community standing,
humiliation, mental anguish and suffering. The suit
stemmed from statements made by Mr. Randi in response to
a heckler at a 1988 meeting of the New York Skeptics, and
in an interview published in the now-defunct Twilight
Zone Magazine.
Though the jury of thirteen found that Mr. Randi's
statements regarding Mr. Byrd were defamatory, they
emphatically declined to award Mr. Byrd any compensation
Testimony adduced at the trial revealed that, in
fact, Mr. Byrd had not been convicted of the crime of
child molestation as suggested by Mr. Randi, but instead
had been arrested for possession with intent to
distribute obscene materials involving children, and had
pled guilty to a reduced charge of possession with intent
to distribute obscene materials.
In addition, Byrd admitted during the eleven-day trial
in Baltimore Federal court to having had a sexual
relationship with a minor of whom he was legal guardian.
Testimony also revealed that Mr. Byrd was a long-time
associate of Uri Geller, a self-proclaimed "psychic" now
living in England. In 1975, Mr. Randi wrote a book in
which he showed that scientific tests of Mr. Geller's
"psychic abilities" were not done as originally reported,
and that Geller's claims were thus unproven.
Mr. Geller has also brought several suits against Mr.
Randi, one of which is still outstanding.
James Randi is the author of nine books, the latest
being "Conjuring," a comprehensive history of the art of
magic. His other books deal mostly with paranormal,
supernatural and occult subjects, of which he is today's
leading critic.



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