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Defamation suit being settled

Lawyers negotiating case over Milford teen's online remarks

A settlement is in the works in a lawsuit filed against a former Milford High student who posted scathing remarks online about people in his school community.

David Lake, father of former Milford student Ian Lake, publicly announced that his attorneys and those for principal Walter Schofield are working to settle the defamation lawsuit Schofield filed against the boy. The announcement came in a Monday fax to the Deseret News.

"We've made an agreement that still has some terms that need to be worked out," Lake said in a phone interview.

Schofield's Salt Lake attorney, Eric K. Johnson, confirmed the process but provided no details. The settlement is not complete.

"It is in the process of being settled," Johnson said.

Ian Lake's Web site characterized faculty and students at Milford High as drunks, having loose morals, engaging in drug abuse, homosexuality and other things.

Lake was arrested and held in juvenile detention in May after Beaver County sheriff's deputies identified him as the originator of the Web site.

Lake faces a class B misdemeanor libel charge.

Fifth District Juvenile Judge Joseph Jackson last December refused to dismiss the charge. He earlier refused a request from Lake's father to dismiss the charge on the ground it was too vague.

Lawyers for Lake vowed they would appeal the December ruling, saying Utah's criminal libel statute does not meet requirements imposed by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, Schofield, who is no longer Milford High's principal, filed a lawsuit in 5th District Court, saying the boy's Web site damaged his reputation and may cause loss of salary and employment. The lawsuit sought unspecified damages.

Ian Lake now is a senior at Palm Springs High School in California. He lives with his grandfather.

David Lake said the Lake camp is preparing a written apology to Schofield.


E-MAIL: jtcook@desnews.com