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HOME > Survivor > Survivor: Borneo

Judge hears 'Survivor' champ Richard Hatch's request for jail release

By Christopher Rocchio, 09/14/2009 

Richard Hatch's plea to be released from his most-recent prison stint has been heard.

The American Civil Liberties Union requested a federal judge release the original Survivor winner from the Barnstable County jail during a Monday hearing in Boston, The Associated Press reported.

The ACLU argued that Hatch was arrested last month while on home confinement due to retaliation for criticizing the government after he participated in several media interviews in which he claimed he was discriminated against by the trial judge during his 2006 tax evasion conviction.

A federal prosecutor subsequently countered that Hatch violated prison rules and should serve the remainder of his sentence -- which is scheduled to end October 7 -- behind bars.

The judge in Monday's hearing did not immediately issue a ruling, according to The AP.

Hatch's lawyer Cynthia Ribas has previously claimed his August 18 arrest was due to "improper" public contact that occurred when he participated in several media interviews that were not approved by the bureau.

Although Hatch had received permission to tape an interview with NBC's The Today Show, the bureau claims it had not given him permission to conduct two additional interviews with NBC's Access Hollywood syndicated entertainment news program and the network's WJAR-TV affiliate in Providence, RI, according to Ribas.

In addition to the unapproved television interviews, Hatch also called into a Rhode Island talk radio program twice after the Today interview aired -- which he also did not receive permission for.

According to Ribas, she and Hatch believed the bureau's permission extended to all NBC properties when The Today Show interview was approved.  However that was not the case, as Ribas stated she was subsequently told by a bureau lawyer that federal rules consider each media outlet separate.

Hatch had been serving the final few months of his 51-month sentence for tax evasion on home confinement in Newport, RI.

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