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‘Survivor’ winner Hatch to stay in jail for now

A federal judge Wednesday denies Hatch’s request to serve the remaining weeks of his sentence for tax evasion in home confinement.
/ Source: The Associated Press

“Survivor” winner Richard Hatch will stay behind bars for now.

A federal judge Wednesday denied Hatch’s request to serve the remaining weeks of his sentence for tax evasion in home confinement. The judge also said prison officials can discipline Hatch by taking away nine days of good time. That means he won’t get out until Oct. 16.

Hatch was convicted of failing to pay taxes on his $1 million prize as the winner of the debut season of the CBS reality show.

He had been serving the final portion of his 51-month sentence in home confinement at his sister’s house in Newport, R.I., when he was sent back to jail last month for giving what prison officials said were unauthorized media interviews.

Hatch claimed the Federal Bureau of Prisons was retaliating against him after he criticized the prosecutor and judge in his case during three interviews. Prison officials say Hatch was only authorized to give one interview.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts asked the judge to release him and let him finish his sentence in home confinement.

Judge Nathaniel Gorton ruled Wednesday that Hatch violated Bureau of Prison rules and must remain in federal custody at the Barnstable County jail in Bourne, Mass.

“The court finds that Hatch was, in fact, prohibited from contacting the media without prior authorization and, therefore, was not arbitrarily punished for doing so,” Gorton wrote in his ruling.

The ACLU said it was disappointed with the ruling.

“We understood that there might be valid security concerns when you’re talking about a prison facility where you can’t have the media coming in, but that’s not the case when you’re dealing with someone in home confinement,” said spokesman Christopher Ott.