The Philadelphia Daily News reporting team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2009 for a report on police corruption and sexual assault is being accused of paying the bills of one of its key sources and allegedly encouraging her to exaggerate facts of a criminal complaint about the incident. The story comes from the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Both papers are owned by H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest. Lenfest originally wanted to hold the story about why federal prosecutors did not bring charges against police officer Thomas Tolstoy, accused of sexual assault by three women in the “Tainted Justice” series, according the Columbia Journalism Review. But after an article was published about the story being held, the Philadelphia Inquirer published its story.
Investigative journalists Wendy Ruderman and Barbara Laker deny the woman’s account. Laker gave CBS Philly a point-by-point rebuttal of the accusations. For instance, Laker said the Inquirer story did not include key information she provided corroborated the assertions in “Tainted Justice.”