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Boston Herald loses defamation suit; Boston woman wins $563,052 award

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A Suffolk Superior Court jury awarded a Boston woman $563,052 in damages after concluding that she was defamed by a 2009 Boston Herald story that falsely said she had been “written up” by prison officials for having sex with a convicted murderer.

Joanna Marinova sued the newspaper and reporter Jessica Van Sack for the story, which the Herald published on May 28, 2009. After deliberating for about 15 hours, jurors concluded that three parts of the story were false and that two of them defamed Marinova, according to her attorney and the verdict slip.

Marinova’s Boston attorney, David H. Rich, said the verdict exonerated his client, who works for nonprofits and is an activist for better conditions for state prison inmates.

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