A blogger is suing Kathryn Knott, Knott’s father, the Bucks County district attorney, and two police detectives for over $5 million alleging they violated her free speech.
Knott was convicted last December for her role in a gay bashing that rocked Philadelphia in 2014; she is currently serving a five to ten month sentence in prison for the attack. Knott’s father, Karl Knott, is the former chief of Chalfont Borough police in Bucks County. He is currently employed as a captain at the Central Bucks Regional Police Department.
Kathleen O’Donnell, who briefly wrote anonymously on the blog “Knotty is a Tramp,” alleges that Knott was unhappy with her entries and complained to her father about it. The elder Knott instructed his daughter to file a report with the Bucks District Attorney’s office.
O’Donnell alleges that the two detectives named in the suit visited her at work and grilled her about her blog. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the officers first spoke to O’Donnell’s boss, saying she was posting “harassing comments” about Knott from her work computer. The detectives allegedly threatened O’Donnell, telling her “she would be arrested for ‘fraudulently impersonating Ms. Knott’,” the lawsuit says.
Even though she agreed to stop posting on the site, O’Donnell was fired from her job after the visit by detectives.
Bucks County District Attorney David Heckler denied the allegations, saying it “was perceived as potentially threatening and potentially inciting others” by local police detectives.
“We would not have been looking into the matter unless it involved what we believed to be potentially incriminating behavior,” he said. “We certainly didn’t bully up on her because Chief Knott is a police officer and we were looking out for a buddy.”
No charges were filed against O’Donnell.