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Judge Says 'Knotty is a Tramp' Lawsuit Against Philly Gay Basher Can Proceed

Thursday Oct 12, 2017

Fifteen months after being released from prison for her part in the 2014 attack on a gay couple in Center City, things keep getting worse for Kathryn Knott. A U.S. district judge ruled last week that a lawsuit against her from a woman who mocked the famed Philly gay-basher using the screen name "Knotty is a Tramp" can proceed.

Plaintiff Kathleen O'Donnell may be one step closer to seeing justice. According to Law360, her suit, which names Knott, her police chief father, detectives and former Bucks County District Attorney David Heckler, claims that a police visit to her workplace was direct retaliation for posts she made on the DISCUS platform under the name "Knotty is a Tramp."

According to the complaint, the detectives approached O'Donnell's supervisor at work without her present and told him about the screen name and how she had been using an office computer for some of the posts. PGN reported that O'Donnell claims she was unjustly terminated from her job due to the incident.

The suit further alleges that the detectives threatened to charge her for impersonating Knott.

U.S. District Judge Mitchell Greenberg said the content of O'Donnell's posts made it clear that they could not possibly be coming from Knott.

"It seems entirely plausible that no reasonable reader of the statements made through the 'Knotty is a Tramp' social media account would actually attribute those statements as coming from Kathryn Knott, or, that the posts purported to convey actual statements of fact about Kathryn Knott," he said in the opinion.

O'Donnell seeks $5.15 million for First Amendment violations.

In addition to O'Donnell's suit, Knott also faces another civil suit brought by Andrew Haught and Zachary Hesse, her victims in the 2014 attack. In July, Knott claimed "self-defense" in the beating case that sent both victims to the hospital. A jury trial will likely begin in December.


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