According to Reuters, the plaintiff, Saudi Arabian national Abdulrahman Alharbi, 21, had been present at the race's crowded finish line on April 15, 2013, when two homemade pressure-cooker bombs ripped through the crowd and was injured.
He was briefly investigated by federal authorities who concluded within days that he played no role in the largest mass-casualty attack on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, 2001. Federal prosecutors now contend that a pair of ethnic Chechen brothers, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, carried out the bombing.
Attorneys for Beck and his media company, The Blaze Inc, argued that by granting interviews to media outlets after being cleared of suspicion by federal officials, Alharbi made himself a "limited purpose public figure" subject to higher levels of scrutiny than a private citizen.
Alharbi's attorney, Peter Haley, said that Beck showed malice by continuing to claim the Saudi exchange student was responsible for the attacks even after he was cleared.
Chief Judge Patti Saris said she would consider the request but noted, "I'd be surprised if I resolved this in a motion to dismiss."
The lawsuit seeks unspecified financial damages.
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