Hatch, known as the "naked guy", was convicted of tax evasion in 2006 for failing to declare his $1 million prize from 2000. After serving about three years of his 51-month sentence in federal prison, he is now under home confinement in Newport, Rhode Island.
Hatch had asked the U.S. District Court in Rhode Island for permission to travel to Samoa for seven weeks next month to take part in a "Survivor" anniversary edition.
He said in a court filing that he would use any payment to pay off his outstanding taxes and said he would not be a flight risk.
51 months for tax evasion? That can't be real. Michael Vick served 23 months for dogfighting. Another NFL player, Donte Stallworth, got 30 days in jail for killing a pedestrian while driving drunk. Those are just two recent cases, off the top of my head. I'm sure there are plenty of other examples.
But just so we're clear: driving drunk and killing someone, and running a dogfighting ring, will get you less time in prison than "tax evasion"?
Hatch has already served "about three years," for crying out loud. And he wants to go to Samoa, where cameras will be on him at all times, so that he can appear on television to earn more money to pay for his tax bill- the one he's being punished for not paying.
Whoever was the "law and order" judge who denied Hatch's request is- pardon my language- a jerk. Did this judge not see the groundbreaking first season of "Survivor"? Did this judge not know that its success paved the way for the modern reality television show? Did this judge not understand that Richard Hatch was an integral part of that show's success?
Did this "judge" not see any of this:
Free Richard Hatch! Let him entertain us!
I rest my case.
Richard Hatch collage source.