Illinois reporter in contempt of court for not revealing source

Patch reporter Joe Hosey vows to protect his sources, even under the threat of going to jail.

Patch reporter Joe Hosey vows to protect his sources, even under the threat of going to jail.  (Photo: Janet Hosey)

The online reporter who has been embroiled in a first amendment fight because of  his refusal to divulge his sources for a story on a grisly double murder was found in contempt of an Illinois court on Friday.

Will County judge Gerald Kinney issued the decision and ordered Joilet Patch reporter Joe Hosey to disclose his source within 180 days, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Hosey, a 10-year veteran journalist known for reporting on the Drew Peterson case, has said he will go to jail rather than give up the source. Kinney has earlier ruled that the matter is not protected by the state's shield law, and that Hosey must comply or face an indefinite term behind bars.

The judge also ordered Hosey to turn over all of his documents relating to the January stranglings of Eric Glover and Terrance Rankins. Kinney told him that if the documents did not reveal his source, Hosey would have to sign an affidavit telling him who gave him the records.

“I know that I am doing the right thing and that has helped me with my decisions,” Hosey told earlier this month. “That’s the reason I’m doing this. On principle."

Hosey has already been fined $1,000 plus court fees and is also facing additional fines of $300 per day until he reveals his source.

The bodies of Glover and Rankins were found Jan.10 in the Joilet home of Alisa Massaro, who has been charged in the murders, along with Bethany McKee, Joshua Miner and Adam Landerman. 

Hosey exclusively obtained reports from confidential sources to write stories about the killings. McKee’s lawyers want to know who leaked the reports and asked the judge to require the reporter to be questioned under oath.

Over 500 sworn statements were submitted by members of the Joliet Police Department, Will County State’s Attorney’s office, and the staff of the attorneys representing the defendants, all of whom denied being a source.

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