A judge Friday ordered the director of the American Nazi Party to pay $100,000 in damages to Jewish Defense League Chairman Irv Rubin for alleging during a public standoff last year that Rubin had AIDS.
Superior Court Judge Joseph Kalin ordered Stanley Witek to pay $10,000 in direct damages and $90,000 in punitive damages to Rubin, who sued Witek for libel stemming from the Nov. 22, 1987, incident.
The incident occurred in a hallway at the Glendale Holiday Inn where self-described racist J. B. Stoner was appearing.
In front of news reporters and television camera crews who recorded the incident, Witek pointed at Rubin and said: “He has AIDS. See, you can see the AIDS sores on his face,” according to Jan Tucker, an investigator for the JDL.
The judge’s ruling was based on the perception of AIDS as a “horrible” stigmatizing disease and Rubin’s recognition as a public figure, Tucker said. Rubin filed the libel suit against Witek last July. The judge’s ruling Friday came in a default hearing after Witek failed to file the necessary paper work with the court.