The Oregon State Court of Appeals denied an Antifa member's request to stop journalist Andy Ngo's lawsuit against Rose City Antifa from being amended.
Defendant and appellant Benjamin Bolen, an Antifa extremist accused of assaulting Ngo at a Portland May Day riot in 2019, had appealed a limited judgement denying his special motion to strike and sought review of the trial court's order granting motion for leave to amend his complaint.
"BOOM! Update on my lawsuit against #Antifa: Oregon Court of Appeals denied defendant Benjamin Bolen's request to stop the lawsuit from being amended (stay tuned for updates). Bolen, an Antifa member who assaulted me, also recently pleaded guilty to assaulting a federal officer," Ngo tweeted Sunday.
Circuit Court Judge Kathleen Dailey first denied Bolen's special motion to strike under the state's anti-SLAPP statute in December 2020, court documents show.
The Oregon anti-SLAPP statute allows a defendant to file a motion to strike the complaint, which the court will hear within 30 days of its filing. The defendant must be able to prove that he or she is being sued for free speech or petition activities, according to the Oregon anti-SLAPP statute.
According to the Ngo's lawsuit against the Antifa group's violent attacks on the reporter in 2019 while he factually reported on political events in Portland, Bolen allegedly punched The Post Millennial's editor-at-large in the abdomen with his fist, causing Ngo significant pain and emotional distress.
"Defendant's motion asks this court to apply the anti-SLAPP statute to claims of battery, assault, and IIED because of his insistence that he has been misidentified. Because the statute does not cover physical assault as protected conduct, Defendant's special motion to strike is DENIED in part," Dailey ruled on Dec. 15, 2020, according to court documents.
The Oregon State Court of Appeals decided to uphold Dailey's ruling and denied Bolen's appeal. "We conclude that the trial court did not err when it concluded that it retained jurisdiction under ORS 19.270(7) to permit respondent to amend the complaint in the manner that it did," court documents show.
Aside from violently assaulting the renowned journalist, Bolen, a former student at Portland State University, has a history of violent behavior.
Bolen is just one of many Rose City Antifa members named in the lawsuit that are being held accountable. In October 2021, John Colin Hacker was indicted on a felony charge of robbery in the third degree by a grand jury in Multnomah County for violently stealing Ngo's phone at a 24 Hour Fitness on May 7, 2019.
In the lawsuit filed in Multonomah County Court on June 4, 2020, Ngo seeks at least $900,000 in damages for assault, battery, emotional distress and racketeering by those who acted to "suppress Ngo's journalism through intimidation and violence," and for "ongoing neurological and health issues," Pamplin Media reports.
According to the lawsuit, "Defendants have sought to suppress independent journalist Ngo's activities through a coordinated pattern of violent, harassing, and stalking behavior. Defendant Rose City Antifa is an offshoot of Antifa, a group deemed a 'domestic terrorist group' by the U.S. government, and widely known for its organized violence and riotous behavior."
"Ngo, with his persistent reporting, has brought to light many misdeeds of this terrorist organization and is perhaps more responsible than any other American journalist for increasing public awareness of the threat Antifa and its followers pose to public safety. In retaliation for Ngo's unfavorable coverage, and in an effort to intimidate Ngo from further exposing Antifa's illegal acts, Defendants have targeted Ngo, including by assaulting and threatening Ngo to the point of causing lasting and significant physical injuries; publicizing private and personal information about the whereabouts of Ngo and his family; and even attempting to break into his family’s home, among a multitude of other threats and acts of violence," according to court documents.