It's comforting to know that even documentary footage from MTV's True Life: I'm a Staten Island Girl is protected under the Shield Law. The Advance reports that Judge Matthew Sciarrino ruled that footage taken at Tottenville club Hush "does not contain relevant footage" of an alleged assault. The details of the assault are unclear, just that 40 year old Thomas J. Ford was charged with misdemeanor assault and harassment. The Staten Island DA's office wanted footage to make its case, but MTV successfully fought the subpoena. Sciarrino viewed the footage himself, and the Advance has Judge Sciarrino's ruling:
"The anonymity of the assailants was conspicuously preserved by the cameraman's behavior of pointing the camera downward or at inanimate objects each time a disturbance became apparent," the judge wrote. "Additionally, the lights for the camera would be turned off."
Sciarrino also said that Danielle DiPietro of Pleasant Plains, one of the show's subjects, had witnessed each of the incidents and could possibly be a source for prosecutors outside of the tape.
We wonder if the cameramen for the show could be called as witnesses, too. But that's a nice move on the part of the cameramen - they probably only film fights when it involves their subjects.