Employee leaked photos, CHP says

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Employee leaked photos, CHP says

now the only reason i'm sharing this is because i really feel for this family. a few months back (maybe not long after the accident occured) i got the email with her pictures. i think many people think its fake and keep passing it along. i could tell, it wasnt fake. now other friends are still passing the pics along...for some reason i feel a hugh snese of disrespect.

Employee leaked photos, CHP says
The family of a crash victim whose pictures went public seeks $20 million

The Orange County Register
LADERA RANCH – The California Highway Patrol has acknowledged that one of its employees is responsible for leaking onto the Internet graphic pictures of a Ladera Ranch teen's nearly decapitated body after she died in a high-speed car crash last fall.

The agency has written a letter of apology to the parents of Nicole "Nikki" Catsouras, 18, who died instantly after losing control of her father's Porsche on a toll road in Lake Forest on Oct. 31.

The images have circulated to thousands of Web sites worldwide and have prompted a $20 million claim against the state for emotional and punitive damages. The pictures have turned up in e-mails and text messages sent to Nikki's parents and other relatives.

"This is at least a step in the right direction," said Lesli Catsouras, Nikki's mother.

The California Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board is expected to deny the family's legal claim at a hearing next week, paving the way for a possible civil lawsuit, said the family's attorney, Tyler D. Offenhauser of Bremer Whyte Brown & O'Meara in Newport Beach.

The Catsouras family hopes to settle with the CHP in the coming weeks and avoid litigation, he said.

"We will be using that number ($20 million) as a starting point," Offenhauser said of settlement talks.

In its letter to the Catsouras family, an official with the CHP's Orange County Communications Center said it identified the employee who leaked the images after a "thorough and complete" internal investigation.

"Appropriate action has been taken to preclude a similar occurrence in the future," said the three-paragraph letter, dated Jan. 26 and received by the family Friday.

A CHP spokesman in Sacramento would not comment on the fate of the employee.

"Any discipline that may have been handed out is a personnel matter, and we're precluded from talking about it," CHP spokesman Tom Marshall said.

An investigating officer with the CHP leaked the photos to a friend – a dispatcher with the agency – who then e-mailed them to the public, according to the claim.

Accident-scene photos are supposed to be used only for investigative purposes, and it is against CHP regulations to make them available to the public.

The CHP and a private company hired by the Catsouras family, Reputation Defender, have been requesting Web site operators to remove the offending images, which include color close-ups of a nearly decapitated Nikki.

Nikki has three younger sisters who have been banned from using the Internet out of fear they will run across the images, the Catsourases said. One sister was so upset she stopped going to school and is being home-schooled.

She was traveling more than 100 mph on the Foothill (241) Toll Road in Lake Forest when she clipped a car going about 70 mph and lost control of the Porsche, slamming into a toll booth, the CHP said.

Nikki had never driven her father's car before and took it without permission, said her father, Christos.

"We can only hope that this type of devastating and disturbing conduct by the CHP will never again happen to another family," Offenhauser said.



Re: Employee leaked photos, CHP says

I'm going to consider myself lucky as the photographs nor the email has ever landed in my inbox.....or that of my child's.

Brains are sexy. Geeks are hot! I'm here for the turn on.

Re: Employee leaked photos, CHP says

yeah them pics were brutal.........not how you want to see your child, thats for sure

Re: Employee leaked photos, CHP says

Thankfully those haven't crossed through my inbox, but what an awful thing to do!

Re: Employee leaked photos, CHP says

That's a heartbreaker, for sure! What a profound sense of disappointment I feel towards the human race, at times like this.

Re: Employee leaked photos, CHP says

That is absolutely DISGUSTING!!! People never cease to amaze me at their cruelty. That poor family!! * shakes head *Frown

Re: Employee leaked photos, CHP says

How sad. I could not imagine the pain of losing a child but to find that such personal details were found as comedy and amusement to others. prayers for the family and their recovery from this. Rest in sweet peace. Cry 

Leave them wondering~

Cobra II
Re: Employee leaked photos, CHP says

Yeah, I can't believe someone did somthing like that, like it was some kinda bad prank. I have seen the grusome photos, & will tell you that they have been "doctored up" with a photo editor. Alot of my friends agree. If you zoom in close, you can see where alot of cut & pasting & blending has been done. The body wasn't as bad as it looked in the photos. Alot of guts & cuts were added. Death photos are often modified like this as a bad prank.

I feel bad enough for the family as it is. If I ever lost a child, I wouldn't want the whole world to see a photo of them after death, i'd want them to see a photo when the child was alive & happy. Now they have to spend the next few years searching the internet to remove the photos. My heart goes out to her family & friends.




*If you put your mind to it, you can achieve anything*

Re: Employee leaked photos, CHP says

That poor family, that is horrible and sad.

Re: Employee leaked photos, CHP says

I saw the pics also...I think the worst part is people WHO HAD TO BE THIS GIRLS FRIEND text and emailed her family copies of these photos, as well as posted the pictures in a comment on her OWN myspace profile. And when I was reading articles on this, the majority of replies were people commenting that she was a spoiled rich girl who deserved what she got for taking her dads $150,000 car...People are just ruthless sometimes.

Re: Employee leaked photos, CHP says

well i was hoping to never get this forward...but i received it just now, and deleted it RIGHT away!! I can not believe this is still in circulation! GRRR! Yell

Miss is very upset right now! 


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