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Conspiracy theorist sentenced to pay $45 million for denying school massacre

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A Texas jury on Friday sentenced American conspiracy theorist Alex Jones to pay $45.2 million in damages after falsely claiming a deadly 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School was a “hoax.”

The verdict comes a day after the same jury awarded a couple, whose son was killed in the massacre, $4.1 million in compensation for the emotional damage caused by Jones spreading lies over years in his radio and online talk show InfoWars.

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The Sandy Hook massacre occurred when a man killed 20 children and six adults with a semi-automatic rifle in that establishment in the state of Connecticut, shocking the United States and reviving the debate on measures to regulate firearms.

Alex Jones, the controversial American presenter who claimed that Sandy Hook was a hoax

Jones, a well-known figure of the extreme right and adept at conspiracy theories, claimed without evidence on his site that the massacre was a set-up organized by opponents of firearms.

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Earlier on Friday, Wesley Ball, attorney for Scarlett Lewis and Neil Heslin, parents of the boy killed in Sandy Hook, warned the jury: “You have the ability to send a message to the whole country, and even the world (… ) And it consists of stopping Alex Jones. Stop the monetization of misinformation and lies.”

Ball asked them to make sure “that he can’t do it again.”

These penalties are the first in a series of lawsuits filed by various families of victims demanding compensation.

Jones eventually publicly admitted that the massacre was real, but refused to cooperate with the courts.

Texas and Connecticut judges then ordered him to pay damages to the plaintiffs, leaving the jury to set the amount.

Other financial sanctions are due to come soon and could deprive Jones of his platform.

The killings, recurrent in the United States, are regularly the subject of conspiracy theories that call them into question, and sometimes provoke harassment by relatives of the victims, accused of lying. (YO)

Source: Eluniverso

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