Original 'Survivor' winner Richard Hatch remains in jail after hearing
By Christopher Rocchio, 08/26/2009
Richard Hatch remains behind bars following a Wednesday hearing on whether the original Survivor winner violated the terms of his home confinement by participating in unauthorized media interviews last week.
The private disciplinary hearing took place at the Barnstable County Sheriff's Office in Bourne, MA -- where Hatch has been held since he was arrested last Tuesday -- and was conducted by the facility's sheriff's deputies, according to The Associated Press.
Information gathered at the hearing will now be passed along to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, which will then determine Hatch's fate, The AP reported.
Hatch's lawyer Cynthia Ribas told The AP her client is threatening to go to court if he is not released "soon."
"It's awful. It's been eight days. He's tormented. It makes no sense," Ribas told The AP. "We'll file something in a real court of law if they don't get him out of there."
Hatch was not allowed to have a lawyer attend the hearing with two sheriff's deputies, according to Ribas, however she and the Rhode Island chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union -- which has claimed Hatch's constitutional free speech rights are being violated -- both submitted witness statements.
While the U.S. Bureau of Prisons has yet to publicly comment on the circumstances surrounding Hatch's arrest, Ribas has claimed it was due to "improper" public contact that occurred when he participated in several media interviews that were not approved by the bureau last week.
Although Hatch had received permission to tape an interview with NBC's The Today Show last Monday, the bureau is claiming that it had not given him permission to conduct two additional Monday 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 last Tuesday morning -- 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. He was scheduled to be released on October 7.
Barry Weiner, the chief probation officer of the United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island, toldThe Providence Journal last week that there are several possible outcomes for Hatch based on the bureau's eventual decision: return him to home confinement; keep him jailed at the Barnstable County Sheriff's Office until October 7; transfer him to another federal facility to complete his sentence; or extend his sentence beyond October 7 since the date included time waived for good behavior.