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Defamation lawsuit against Delegate Cheryl Turpin dismissed

The lawsuit stemmed from two-year-old political ads that featured Scott Presler posing for a picture with Turpin's then-opponent, Rocky Holcomb.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — A man who sued Delegate outgoing Delegate Cheryl Turpin for defamation had his case dismissed on Thursday.

The lawsuit stemmed from two-year-old political ads that featured Scott Presler posing for a picture with Turpin's then-opponent, Rocky Holcomb.

The ads, which were backed by Turpin, read, "Leader of a local hate group, Scott Ryan Presler," underneath the picture. 

In his lawsuit, Presler claimed he was wrongfully painted as a racist and as someone who associates with neo-Nazis and white supremacists.

RELATED: Judge to rule on legitimacy of defamation lawsuit aimed at Del. Cheryl Turpin

Circuit court Judge Designate Pamela S. Baskervill ruled in Turpin's favor, dismissing the case "with prejudice, with no leave to amend."

In her ruling, Baskervill stated Presler was unable to prove the statements made against him were false. Presler worked for "ACT for America," which has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Baskervill said that Presler can also be considered a limited public figure because he "regularly and visibly injects himself into the political world through his activity in ACT," which included the interviews Presler gave for ACT which were cited by Turpin's political ad. 

As a limited public figure, Presler would then have to prove actual malice had taken place with "clear and convincing evidence." Actual malice means a statement was made "with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not," and again, Baskervill said all quotes were cited from reliable sources of information.