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San Diego Pride: We will vigorously defend civil lawsuit filed by festival attendee

SAN DIEGO -- San Diego LGBT Pride officials said today they will "vigorously defend" a civil lawsuit brought against the non-profit organization and "strongly deny" allegations made against them in connection with an arrest made at last year’s Pride festival.

Will X. Walters filed suit last Friday in federal court, claiming his constitutional rights were violated when he was arrested by San Diego police officers for public nudity in Balboa Park during last year's Pride festival in July 2011. Walters’ lawsuit names San Diego LGBT Pride, the City of San Diego and five San Diego police officers.

Walters is seeking an unspecified amount of compensatory and punitive damages from those named in the suit.

The case was filed by the law firm of Aguirre, Morris and Severson, where former San Diego City Attorney Michael Aguirre is a partner.

"Tens of thousands of people attend each year’s Pride festival without incident and it’s regrettable anytime an arrest is made,” said Dwayne Crenshaw, executive director of San Diego LGBT Pride.

San Diego LGBT Pride's staff and board works year-round to produce the annual parade and festival, with the help of nearly 1,000 volunteers. The organization has given nearly $1.4 million to San Diego charities as a result of funds raised from the events.

More information on this case will be reported when it becomes available.