After a year’s deliberation, the San Mateo District Attorney’s Office has decided not to press charges against Jason Chen, Gizmodo or Gawker Media for buying the iPhone 4 prototype that leaked this time last year.
The prototype — which was lost by Apple Software Engineer Gray Powell at Redwood City’s Gourmet Haus Stadt — was sold to Gawker Media by Brian Hogan and Sage Wallower, who’s arraignment is still scheduled for Thursday, August 25th at 9am.
The case against Gizmodo was obviously not strong enough for the D.A. to risk going to court over, though, as they have released an official statement saying:
After a consideration of all of the evidence, it was determined that no charges would be files against employees of Gizmodo.
Not quite an exoneration of any wrong doing, but Gawker’s jubilant anyway:
We are pleased that the District Attorney of San Mateo County, Steven Wagstaffe, has decided, upon review of all of the evidence, that no crime was committed by the Gizmodo team in relation to its reporting on the iPhone 4 prototype last year. While we have always believed that we were acting fully within the law, it has inevitably been stressful for the editor concerned, Jason Chen, and we are glad that we can finally put this matter behind us.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that Gizmodo’s acquisition of the iPhone 4 prototype was legal, just that the D.A. doesn’t feel it has a strong case. And while the D.A. might be willing to let the matter go, Apple has a long memory, and Gizmodo will undoubtedly continue to be blacklisted from all future Apple events. That’s probably a small price to pay for the biggest tech scoop of the century, though.