Does this bad behaviour by a victim of theft damage a legal case?

So a fallen celebrity has been keeping her face in the news lately by being accused of theft. She has rejected a plea offer and it looks like it will go to trial. However, the security camera footage that allegedly shows her taking the necklace has now shown up on line, allegedly sold by the jewelry store to a gossip site.

My question: does this in any way affect the has-been starlet’s case? Or does it just open up the jewelry store to potential legal troubles of its own?

Here is info on the original case. All the links I can find to stories on the sale of the tape are through garbagey tabloid or gossip sites, so I won’t link but a simple search will find them.

I have no idea. Here in New Zealand (and I’d guess most Commonwealth jurisdictions) the case would be sub judice meaning the press could not report the evidence or discuss the charge until the trial took place.

If the victim/complainant in a criminal matter decided to release a security tape before trial they would risk the offender being discharged. Too high a chance of witnesses and jury members being prejudiced so no trial.

No consequences in the US, I don’t think, nor would it generally be seen as bad behavior.

Potential jurors will get asked if they can return a verdict based solely on the evidence presented, and it’s possible that a few would say that seeing this tape made that impossible for them, but then other jurors in the pool would be called. LA is a big place.

There would probably be no legal consequences for the store, because there would typically be no legal prohbitions here on its selling the tape. California has some state laws regarding use of one’s image, and so I could be wrong. I wouldn’t think that she would have an expectation of privacy in a store open to the public, though, and there’s no suggestion that that the tape has been doctored to present false information. Remember, celebrities get photographed all the time.

Why don’t we ever hear anything about her twin sister?

As I understand the issue, it is this:

The store allegedly sold the video to some news service. They are the complaintant in this case, and obviously it is mainly based on their evidence that the case is brought against her. Now the “victim” sells their story. This brings the whole story into question. Did she really help herself, or was this a “misunderstanding” created by the victim for their own gain?

Generally if a witness profits from a story, their truthfulness is called into question. If you are paid when your story is A and not if it is B then how reliable are you when you say A?

IIRC there was an eyewitness who claimed she saw OJ near his wife’s place at the right time, but she sold her story to the tabloids and so that evidence(?) was never heard in court.

So if the jewelry store sold the video to the tabloids, all their story - the basis of the charges - is out and perhaps she’ll walk. Lucky her…

How can the truthfulness of a video be called into question by selling it? Unless it can be proved to be doctored – but that would be the same if they hadn’t sold it.

Does it include audio? Does it show what happened before or after, or what the victim said to the defendant in the previous visit, or told them to do? If someone is making serious bucks off an incident, how do we know it is not “staged” like 90% of reality TV? Was it a setup to make some money? Was it a publicity stunt?

Not that I think it is, just that a good lawyer might introduce “reasonable doubt”, seeing that the story (at one point) seems to be that it was on loan and some assistant simply forgot to return it. Her self-destructive behaviour becomes an advantage. “If this item was stolen not loaned, why would someone wear it out in public knowing the pictures would make it into the press?”

Thank you very much, this is what I was looking for. I kept coming across information that read like md2000’s, and was looking for something a little more concrete.

Clearly she needs to get together with Charlie.

These are all valid questions for defense whether the store sells the tape or not. The store selling the tape does not, in itself, have any relevance to the case because it has nothing to do with the credibility of a witness.

It would also depend on the circumstance, why did the store sell the tape? Was it to alter the course of justice? If they deliberately set out to convict her in the public, there are various “perverting the course of justice” laws, which could be used.

The defense would probably call for the judge to exclude it from evidence, thereby knocking out a strong point for the prosecution.

Americans too often think we are judged by an IMPARTIAL jury of 12 people. This is pretty much never the case. We are judge by 12 people who have made up their mind but are willing to change their mind if either side can prove their point.

At this point, why does the store even care if justice prevails? They no doubt got a lot more for the tape than the necklace is worth.

I guess the prosecution might be upset though.

Like which laws, precisely?

I see** Diogenes** has made my exact point. Selling the video or not, the images are what they are. It doesn’t matter whether they were sold (or given away to the gossip site for nothing, for that matter). The defense can’t object to the images, but they can provide alternate explanations for them to the jury.

I think Markxxx might be envisioning a scenario of explicit jury tampering, such as mailing a copy of the tape to each individual juror after they have been selected.

Because She Knows Who Killed Her.

Surely the problem is that with images or footage already in the public domain, the defence has a more difficult task. If before the trial “everyone” knows that the defendant is “guilty”, because they’ve “seen” them “commit a crime”, then this is corrosive to the justice system.

It’s the job of the prosecution service in open court to establish that (a) a crime has been committed, and that (b) the defendant is culpable. It’s completely inappropriate for this process to be pre-empted by an interested party either for financial gain, or to influence a jury in advance.

I don’t think anyone would argue that it’s wrong to approach a jury member during the course of a trial, in order to convince them of the defendant’s guilt of the alleged crime. I can’t see that doing this on a more general basis beforehand is much better.

Could the fact that the store sold the tape for $40,000 lend support to the whole “It was a setup so the store could make money” claim?

The defense can try to persuade a jury of that. It won’t change what’s actually on the tape, though, and it’s hard to see how the store could have set her up. Her lawyers would have to come up with a pretty good story, and if they have no coroborrating evidence for a frame-up theory other than th sale of the tape, I doubt they’ll be successful. Forty grand isn’t really all that much money for an upscale jewelry store. It doesn’t really pass the :dubious: test, in my opinion, but who knows what a jury might believe.

It happens all the time in the US. There’s no law against it. The jurors will just be asked if they can put aside anything they’ve seen previously and be objective.

I seem to remember the same thing happened with the Winona Rider shoplifting case.