A local non-profit group that tries to confront sexual predators and expose them to the public and law enforcement is being sued for defamation in Randolph County.
Adrian Collins of Red Bud, a former security guard who was confronted by KTS Predator Hunters in June, filed the suit in Chester at the Randolph County Courthouse. The lawsuit was filed on September 4th after Collins alleges the group maliciously and intentionally caused the publication of false statements about him to harm his reputation.
The lawsuit is seeking in excess of $50,000 for compensatory damages and in excess of $50,000 for punitive damages. The complaint says that Collins received threats online after KTS posted his conversation with a decoy profile named as “Jordan Lane” on their Facebook page. Collins also was allegedly fired as a security guard at Red Bud Regional Hospital and has since not been able to find employment. Lane, KTS Founder Kyle Swanson, and the non-profit group KTS Predator Hunters, LLC have been named as the respondent in the suit.
The complaint further explains that Collins didn’t inquire as to Lane’s age during their conversation and says that Collins has Asperger syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder. According to the Belleville News Democrat, the KTS Facebook page alleged that Collins was setting up a sex trafficking situation and referred to the conversation with Lane as grooming of a minor.
According to the Belleville News Democrat, Collins is being represented by Belleville Attorney Megan Gilbreth. Swanson, on pro se representation, filed for a motion to dismiss, saying that the plaintiff was well aware of the age of the decoy profile. Randolph County Circuit Judge Richard Brown denied the motion to dismiss on September 25th, giving KTS Predator Hunters’ Kyle Swanson and the group 30 days to respond.
KTS announced the lawsuit last Wednesday asking its followers on Facebook to donate money for legal fees and also was seeking legal counsel in the case. The post said that the group needed $7,500 to make a down payment for the legal fees. They also said that without legal counsel, the group may have to stop operations. They have not been doing their meet ups with predators they have come in contact with during the entire month of September. The group has until next week to answer the suit in court.