Kansas court rejects award in BTK defamation case

TOPEKA | The Kansas Supreme Court has struck down a $250,000 award to the estate of a Wichita man incorrectly identified in a news report as a suspect in the BTK serial killings.

The justices ruled today that Roger G. Valadez had not shown that the emotional distress he suffered was extreme enough to warrant civil damages.

Valadez died a month after a 2006 trial of his lawsuit in Sedgwick County District Court. He sued the company that owned KSN, the station airing the 2004 report, and its news director.

A jury awarded him $1.1 million in damages, but Kansas law limited the award to $250,000.

Dennis Rader was arrested in February 2005 and confessed to 10 killings in the Wichita area between 1974 and 1991.