A teenage girl is claiming that her father's
ex-girlfriend (now ex), a reporter, took photos of her diary (which she kept in her bedroom) and posted them on a "Gossip Girl"-style fake Facebook page.
The reporter is Teri Buhl, an investigative reporter based out of New Canaan, CT, who usually writes about hedge funds.
Buhl says she was launching an investigation into teenage drinking in Connecticut, a pretty over-played story, but Buhl apparently wanted to expose what really goes on. IE sex, puking - stuff we all know happens - but Buhl wanted to give the story a face, and she wanted the face to be Wall Street parents and their kids.
In the midst of it, she's been arrested for cyber-harassing an 18-year old girl (who's now a student at BU) who's also her ex-boyfriend's (Paul Brody, the CFO of Interactive Broker) daughter.
Buhl hoped her story would print the names of the parents, ideally Wall Street parents, who allowed drinking in their homes. And she wanted to expose the darker side of drinking in high school, too, by printing the names of high schoolers who have thrown up and had high-risk sex because they were wasted on their parents' booze.
(For more background on her investigation and the charges against her, click here)
If her endeavor sounds creepy to you, just wait. It's no wonder some people think the police and/or the media are trying to smear Buhl's reputation.
Sometime during Buhl's investigation, she got a hold of 10 pages of her (ex) boyfriend's teenage daughter's embarrassing diary entry.
According to the New Canaan Patch:
The journal entries contain the names of the girl's friends, as well as references to excessive drinking, oral sex, "puking" and "hooking up."
A tipster tells us that the girl also wrote about someone who was bragging about giving the best (you know).
Anyway, at some point, Buhl's ex-boyfriend, the girl's father, received the diary pages anonymously in a Fed-Ex. They suspect it came from Buhl.
Buhl says she didn't take the diary pages, one of the girl's friends gave it to her in the course of her investigative work as a journalist. Buhl had apparently put the word out in the town, New Canaan, that she was looking for documented evidence (videos of a party, photos, letters, texts) of what happens when parents allow teens to have parties and the cops don't enforce the law.
Whether or not she stole the diary pages is an important factor in the case because because sometime after Buhl had the pages in hand, they appeared online, on Facebook, when someone named "Tasha Moore" posted it on her page.
New Canaan police Youth Bureau Commander Sgt. Carol Ogrinc said in an affidavit that the girl and her father, Paul Brody, came to police June 24 to report that someone using the name 'Tasha Moore' had posted personal notes from the girl's journal on Facebook.
The girl said she kept the journal in her dresser drawer in her bedroom, and that she wrote the notes shown on Facebook last April. The girl said she had replied to the e-mail address provided by Moore on her Facebook page, and had told Moore to stop posting personal information about her or she would contact police.
So Buhl stands accused by the girl of stealing (or photocopying or taking a picture) of her diary and posting it online. But she hasn't been arrested for stealing.
Here's the evidence the police has on Buhl. They say they can tell "Tasha Moore" was actually Buhl because they checked the Facebook account information. And their suspicion that Buhl stole the girl's diary pages comes from the teenage daughter.
The girl believes Buhl went into her bedroom and either took photos of the journal entries or made photocopies of them, and posted them on Facebook, according to Ogrinc.
So it's somewhat shoddy evidence, as the Fairfield Weekly points out, but piecing it all together makes for one hell of a creepy storyline, true or not.
Reporter steals ex-boyfriend's daughter's sex diary. Reporter posts excerpts on "Gossip Girl"-like Facebook page.
And then reporter posts comments on the Facebook, looking for more information -
Among the comments police say Buhl made is one that says, "It looks like she knows she made a mistake" and another asking viewers to the Facebook page to "Help us out if you know (her) friends' last names."
As a reporter investigating teenage drinking in Connecticut, Buhl needed more names. Particularly last names - so that she could match them up with their Wall Street parents.
Buhl is pleading not guilty. Here is her lawyers comment:
"This morning, we obtained a rather voluminous copy of the state's file," Caldwell said. "Between now and Dec. 20, we will review the information provided and, if necessary, ask the state to file a more particular statement as to the exact facts it claims constitutes the elements of each of the crimes charged."
He added, "Because this case involves the criminal prosecution of a bona fide journalist working on a topic of great public importance — permissive underage drinking and drug use — we have to take extra care to insure that the first amendment freedoms at issue are protected from an improper and chilling application of the criminal law."
For another story on the case, head over to the Fairfield Weekly
* Full disclosure: Teri Buhl has written for Business Insider.
Update: Teri Buhl has contacted us to provide the following clarification about this story:
Paul Brody and I were in a happy long term relationship when the event the local cops are charging me with happened. We broke up when I would not give up the source to the New Canaan police who gave me his daughter's letter for use in my investigation. I received multiple letters, videos, texts from other sources in New Canaan about other underage teens getting in trouble from drinking, their parents role and a lack of judicial fines in what appeared to be illegal behavior.
Buhl also provided this link for further information.