WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Pentecostal minister is suing the National Enquirer, claiming it defamed him when it printed a story indicating he was under police investigation for possibly killing Orlando toddler Caylee Anthony as part of a human sacrifice ritual.
"Bizarre Twist in Caylee's Murder, Minister Subject of Inquiry in Possible Human Sacrifice," according to a headline in the Boca Raton-based tabloid's Oct. 12, 2009 edition. A picture of Orlando pastor Richard Grund accompanied the story that promised readers "the horrible truth" about what happened to the 2-year-old daughter of Casey Anthony.
"The National Enquirer story is calling out an ordained minister as a child killer - and in a ritual sacrifice murder no less, of which there is not one shred of evidence to support or even credible speculation," attorney Douglas Roberts, who represents Grund, wrote in a letter that accompanied the lawsuit he filed last week in Palm Beach County Circuit Court.
He is seeking an unspecified amount in damages for Grund.
"The actions taken by the National Enquirer were at a minimum negligent or grossly negligent and at worst were done with malice to injure (Grund's) reputation and defame him in a national publication," Roberts wrote in the lawsuit.
An attorney for the National Enquirer wasn't immediately available this morning for comment.
After three years of intense media scrutiny, Casey Anthony, 24, in July was acquitted of murder in the June 2008 disappearance of her daughter.
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