Attorneys in the case of a man charged with kidnapping University of North Dakota student Dru Sjodin have been ordered to stop talking to reporters.
Judge Lawrence Jahnke attorneys have been giving interviews even though they agreed to two informal requests to stop doing so.
Alfonso Rodriguez Jr., 50, is jailed awaiting a Feb. 4 preliminary hearing on a charge of kidnapping Sjodin, 22, who hasn’t been seen since she disappeared from a Grand Forks shopping mall in November. Bail is set at $5 million.
Rodriguez’ attorney, David Dusek, has said Rodriguez denies kidnapping the young woman and has no knowledge of her whereabouts. Dusek said media interviews were in his client’s best interests.
Prosecutor Peter Welte has said his office would not respond to media requests for interviews in the case.
In his gag order Friday, Jahnke said two requests that attorneys stop giving interviews had been ignored. “In fact, within the past week, two more media interviews were granted, one locally and one nationally, within hours of yet another personal assurance from counsel that there would be no more,” he said.