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In the Franklin Coverup Scandal of 1989, Paul A. Bonacci claimed that he had been kidnapped and flown to the Grove by Republican leader Lawrence King and was forced into sexual acts with other boys. In a later lawsuit claiming that Paul Bonacci was the subject of mind control experiments, Bonacci testified to these and other charges in court with U.S. Senior District Judge Warren Urbom presiding. Bonacci was awarded $1 million by Judge Urbom in a default judgement, but the judge did not find that the allegations were true. A grandjury investigated the claims in the Franklin Coverup Scandal. On July 23, 1990, after hearing many hours of testimony, the grand jury threw out all of the allegations concerning sexual abuse, labeling the charges a "carefully crafted hoax".
Meanwhile, Florida newspapers — who were leaked copies of the e-mail with the Louisiana boy last year — defended their decision not to run stories. Both The St. Petersburg Times and The Miami Herald were given copies of the e-mail, as were other news organizations, including Fox News.
"Our decision at the time was ... that because the language was not sexually explicit and was subject to interpretation, from innocuous to 'sick,' as the page characterized it, to be cautious," said Tom Fiedler, executive editor of the Herald. "Given the potentially devastating impact that a false suggestion of pedophilia could have on anyone, not to mention a congressman known to be gay, and lacking any corroborating information, we chose not to do a story."