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Sports Broadcaster Plans Free Speech Defense

Chicago- A television interview this week with former sportscaster Robert Goldman could be used when he is sentenced for indecent solicitation of a minor, a prosecutor said Friday.

“From the parts I saw on TV, I think it is relevant at sentencing because it certainly shows the lack of responsibility that he’s taking for his actions,” Lake County State’s Atty. Michael Waller said of the interview, which aired on WMAQ-Ch. 5.

Prosecutors plan to review the tape, and if they believe it has a bearing on sentencing, “we’ll play it for the judge,” Waller said.

Goldman faces up to 5 years in prison for his May 11 conviction on charges that he arranged to meet and have sex with an undercover investigator who had been posing as a 16-year-old girl in an Internet chat room. No date has been set for sentencing.

Lake County prosecutors subpoenaed the television station for the taped interview, Waller said.

In the interview, Goldman, whose e-mail moniker was RGOLD411, admitted he liked to “talk dirty” on the Internet but said he thought he was exchanging e-mail messages with an adult.

Frank Whittaker, vice president of news for the television station, said WMAQ’s attorneys would review the subpoena before deciding whether to hand over the tape.

“We’ll determine what’s appropriate,” Whittaker said.

Goldman, 44, of the 1200 block of Candlewood Court, Aurora, was fired as a broadcast sports personality for the CLTV cable news operation and WGN-AM 720 after his April 2002 arrest. CLTV and WGN are owned by Tribune Co., which also owns the Chicago Tribune.

Goldman was arrested after he arranged a meeting at a Waukegan apartment complex following 15 months of e-mail conversations, prosecutors said.

Goldman’s attorney, Stephen Komie, plans to appeal on 1st Amendment grounds.

“He’s been convicted of speaking on the Internet, without committing a criminal act,” Komie said Friday.



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