By Emily Bregel | Arizona Daily Star
The operators of the defunct Tucson Tech “prep school” have been granted two restraining orders against a Pinal County sports journalist who first reported on the couple’s questionable business practices targeting student athletes looking for a second chance.
But the journalist, Ralph Amsden, is asking the court to dismiss the injunctions, arguing that calling out the couple on Twitter for misleading young athletes doesn’t amount to harassment, especially because he wasn’t sending direct messages to either of the plaintiffs, Sharon and Jeff Pichotta.
“Twitter is a public forum,” he said. “It wasn’t meant for them. It was for the people who are following me.”
Last month in Pima County Consolidated Justice Court, a judge granted Sharon and Jeff Pichotta’s two petitions for injunctions against harrassment, based on 16 tweets sent by Amsden since summer 2017. Amsden, who was served with the orders on March 20, is fighting the injunctions during a Friday hearing in justice court.