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Lynchburg man sues for defamation over Jan. 6 Capitol protest posts, claims he was forced to resign from his job
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Lynchburg man sues for defamation over Jan. 6 Capitol protest posts, claims he was forced to resign from his job

A Lynchburg man who says he was asked to resign from his job after attending the Jan. 6 Capitol protest is suing two individuals for defamation based on posts they made on Facebook.

George Caylor was one of more than 100 people from the Lynchburg area to travel to the protest in two buses, according to his complaint.

Caylor’s suit, filed April 2 in Bedford Circuit Court, states he “had zero participation in any violence, breach of the Capitol, ‘insurrection,’ or other ‘treasonous’ conduct.”

He shared photos of those on one of the buses in a publicly viewable Facebook post, stating they were heading “to denounce Democrat tyranny,” the complaint reads.

Caylor’s lawsuit states Bedford County resident Donna StClair then shared the post to a private Facebook group, “Liberal Lounge of Lynchburg,” calling for those on the bus to be identified and for warrants to be taken out against them for treason.

The lawsuit states she listed the names of 41 people on the bus, found on a signup list that she later wrote was publicly linked from Caylor’s own account, on a post to the same group later that night and called for people to “punish them in any way you know for having sought to undermine the very fabric of the country that we call home. Dismember them in any way you can!” The lawsuit states the post later was edited to read, “Hold them accountable in any way you can!”

Law enforcement officers visited her on Jan. 8 in regard to those posts, according to the suit. Court records indicate she was charged with using a computer for harassment dated to Jan. 6 following complaints from an officer with the Liberty University Police Department who claimed his name was on the list she posted, but that charge was dropped.

The lawsuit alleges StClair took a screenshot of one of Caylor’s Facebook posts, claiming the photo in it proved he was on the steps of the Capitol at the time of the protest, and questioned his work as a financial advisor through MassMutual, an insurance and financial-services company.

The lawsuit claims she then sent a message to MassMutual that led to a company agent asking him to resign.

The lawsuit claims Caylor’s general agent at MassMutual gave Caylor “the implied alternatives of resignation or dismissal, with George knowing that a dismissal would go on his professional record and he would not be employable in his profession for six years, leaving him with no alternative to resign.”

The lawsuit doesn’t mention any dates for when that occurred.

A MassMutual spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment as of press time.

Caylor’s complaint names StClair, another person named as Hyangnan Supernaw — who Caylor said further shared StClair’s posts on Facebook — and a “John Doe” who also contacted MassMutual as defendants that all defamed Caylor or four other, anonymous plaintiffs.

Those anonymous plaintiffs’ names were on the signup list, but one ended up traveling up to Washington in a private vehicle and another didn’t travel to Washington that day at all, the lawsuit states. The situations of the other two anonymous plaintiffs aren’t described further in the complaint.

Caylor is demanding up to $1.7 million in damages, and the anonymous plaintiffs collectively are demanding up to $640,000 in damages, depending on how the court would rule.

Caylor claimed the defendants defamed him and the other plaintiffs by falsely accusing them of insurrection and treason and implying they were anti-Semitic, among other claims.

StClair’s attorney, Paul Beers, said in a statement that his client denies all of the claims against her in the “vengeful” lawsuit.

“The suit filed by George Caylor and his like-minded band of election conspiracy theorists is a misuse of our judicial system to punish this hardworking citizen for her views about a matter of grave public concern,” he wrote. “Like other true patriots, Ms. St. Clair found the debasement of our national legislature on January 6th appalling and worthy of public condemnation. Any comments she may have made related to that assault upon democracy were plainly protected speech under the First Amendment.”

Reached Thursday, Supernaw and her attorney declined to comment, as did Caylor’s attorney.

Caylor also hosts a Tea Party-branded talk radio segment called “Tea Time with George Caylor” in which he vows to “save our Constitutional Republic and Judeo/Christian culture” and “help bring the country back from the brink of extinction.”

It plays on four FM radio stations in and around the Lynchburg region. In it, he’s denied the events of Jan. 6 constituted an “insurrection” and frequently references the “deep state.”

No responses to the lawsuit have been filed in court.

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