NBC Settles 'To Catch a Predator' Lawsuit

Both parties describe the agreement, for an undisclosed amount, as "amicable."

ByABC News
June 24, 2008, 10:50 PM

June 24, 2008 — -- NBC has settled a lawsuit that blamed the network for the suicide of a Texas prosecutor who was targeted in an undercover sting against alleged pedophiles as part of the Dateline: To Catch a Predator show.

The suit was brought by the sister of William Conradt Jr., an assistant district attorney in Rockland County, Texas, who shot himself in the head after a local police SWAT team, accompanied by a Dateline crew, surrounded his house and moved in to arrest him in November 2006.

The attorney for Conradt's sister, Bruce Baron, told ABCNews.com that "the matter has been amicably resolved to the satisfaction of both parties." Patricia Conradt had initially sued for $109 million. The amount of the settlement has not been disclosed.

NBC also issued the same brief statement Tuesday evening saying that "the matter has been amicably resolved to the satisfaction of both parties."

Conradt's suicide was at the center of an ABC News 20/20 investigation looking into troubling questions for both law enforcement and the news media raised by the popular Dateline series.

When Conradt did not take the bait to go to the sting house set up by Dateline and Perverted Justice, a civilian watchdog group hired as a paid consultant by NBC, the decision was made to go get him at his home in Terrell, Texas.

Conradt's sister Patricia told 20/20 the police broke in and then headed down a hallway to the bedroom where her brother was waiting for them with a gun in his hand.

"They came in, and they see him," Patricia said. "He says, 'Guys, I'm not gonna hurt anybody.' And then he put the gun to his head and shot."

William Conradt died shortly after a helicopter called in landed at a Dallas hospital.

Walter Weiss, a former detective with the police department that partnered with Dateline, and who has since left the force in disgust, told 20/20, "I understand he took his own life, but I have a feeling that he took his own life when he looked out the door and saw there was a bunch of television cameras outside."