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Ohio Supreme Court declines to take up appeal concerning defamation case involving Oberlin College and Gibson’s Bakery

The Ohio Supreme Court has declined to take up an appeal of the multimillion dollar judgment against Oberlin College in a lawsuit in which Gibson’s Bakery contended that it had been defamed by the educational institution, according to the Associated Press.

The lawsuit stems from a 2016 episode that involved three black students who were arrested and the subsequent fallout in the wake of the incident.

A police report about the incident details Allyn Gibson’s allegations that a black male had attempted hide to wine beneath his shirt, and that altercations ensured after he confronted the individual — Gibson also told police that two females engaged in violence against him as well.

The AP said that Allyn Gibson tackled a black male student who he suspected of theft, and that two black female students attempted to intervene. The three individuals arrested in connection with the incident eventually pled guilty to misdemeanor charges, according to the AP.

A 2017 Associated Press article reported that the three individuals pled guilty to attempted theft and aggravated trespassing and declared in statements mandated by a plea agreement that their behavior was wrong and the business was not racist.

On the heels of the arrests, protests ensued, and the bakery’s reputation came under attack.

A lawsuit filed in 2017 against Oberlin and Meredith Raimondo, who at the time was the school’s dean of students and vice president, accused Raimondo of being involved in distributing a flyer accusing the bakery of racism.

The Buckeye State Supreme Court’s decision not to take up the appeal means that the lengthy legal battle appears to finally be coming to a close, and the school will have to shell out millions of dollars to the tune of $36 million.