Skip to comments.Opinions Needed-Trying to advise a friend (Vanity)
Posted on 06/14/2010 1:19:25 PM PDT by hoagy62
I need some advice for a friend of mine from my church. Since none of you know where I go or who he is, I can protect his anonymity. He doesn't know I'm doing this.
He seemed a bit upset at church this weekend, so I asked what happened. Here's what he told me: Last Tuesday, he was on Facebook. He noticed that he'd received a private message from someone he'd 'friended' about a month earlier. This woman was a high-school acquaintance, one of several he's added to his friend list in anticipation of his 30-year high school reunion coming this summer.
Anyway, this message said "What did you do to my little sister at your dad's lake cabin?" He thought about it...the sister in question was about 12 at the time and he was 16 or 17. Her mom and his dad worked together for the city and his dad invited them out to the cabin for a day during his vacation. My friend asked back "What are you talking about?" According to this woman, her sister just recently revealed to her that she remembers this guy (my friend) trying to get him to touch his genitals. He told me that he does remember that she was AT the lake cabin, but he has no recollection of this incident. He does remember that they swam together and that there was a lot of splashing, but NOTHING like what this woman is accusing him of.
The conversation went from messages to chat (she initiated it) and they spent the next half-hour or so going back and forth...him denying any knowledge of the incident, and her calling him a liar and a pervert an saying that if she'd have found this out back in high school, he'd have been dead. During the course of the conversation, she'd said that the sister did tell her mother about the incident, and the mother told her to 'let it go', whether because she didn't think anything of it, or for other reasons, he doesn't know. WHY this was brought up NOW, my friend has no idea. The conversation ended with him saying that IF anything happened...and if it did it was totally unintentional...that he was sorry for her BUT that he didn't do anything, and with her saying that he's lucky that she has love and respect for his dad. There have been no further contacts.
Some things to know about my friend-he's happily married, has kids, and had been a Christian for over 20 years. He said that he brought his wife in as soon as the accusation was made, and she sat there with him and saw the conversation. She got on her laptop and looked up the law in our state. Apparently, the statute of limitations expired YEARS ago for that kind of incident, so no charges could be filed. He swears to me that there was NO rape or intercourse.
What he's afraid of is a lawsuit where this woman would try to extract money from him. I'm thinking that for something that happened more than 30 years ago and with no physical evidence save for her word against his...that's not something a court would even consider. His wife believes him that nothing happened. He also went to one of our pastors and relayed the same story. The pastor said that something he learned in psychology (a degree he's working for right now) if a person replays an incident over and over in their mind the way they THOUGHT it went, even if that was NOT what happened, they convince themselves that THEIR perception of what happened is the truth.
My question for you, my fellow FReepers is: Should this guy worry? Should he lawyer up in preparation for a possible lawsuit? (According to him, the woman gave no indication that any reparations or damages were being considered...for what it's worth.)
My friend is an upstanding guy and he's really upset that this accusation was made.
Seriously though - having spent 11 years in the Army, Facebook has helped me get back in touch with many friends I had lost track of over the years.
Of course, on the other hand, it has helped other people get in touch with me. Yikes.
The sentence SHOULD have read “tried to get HER to touch his...”
My proof-reading should have been better.
Not so fast either. If this gets spun into some kind of sexual assault, he could even STILL be prosecuted criminally. In many states the statute of limitations stops if you “flee” the state.
Say it had a stature of limitations of 6 years,, and two years after the incident, he left the state. That will be him “fleeing”. This is deadly serious and he needs to never speak about it, ever,,, to anyone except on advice of counsel.
Very good advice.
I guess it is OK for young folks but why a middle aged guy would be into this stuff is beyond me. Social networking sounds creepy to me. Like a lawsuit waiting to happen.
2. Cut all ties with the people involved.
3. Forget it.
Statue of limitations is way past. A civil suit for “recalled memories” will most likely go nowhere.
The above is not to be considered legal advice. Legal advice must be obtained from a lawyer familiar with your situation and licensed in your jurisdiction.
Idiotic legal advice.
Cease and desist any communication!
Way too many people talk themselves into jail.
Sorry about word “idiotic,” but NO further contact is essential.
Repeat guys,,, he needs to at least speak to an Attorney. Statute of limitations can be like a marital prenup. There are some things that can stop it in some states.
And though he would likely win such an old case, (after great expense and heartache) the stakes are still sky high. Lets say for example,,, your DA is a guy like Mike Nifong. Lets say he/she starts an investigation,,,
The friend needs to clam up and at least talk to a lawyer in his state. It could be the best 200 bucks he ever spends.
I agree, he should skip the reunion. Make up any excuse. Just unable to go. I would not hire a lawyer at this time. Maybe track down one or two so that if anything would come of this, he would have one to contact, but it seems pretty unlikely it will go anywhere. Good luck to your friend to get past this mess.
I knew that. Just being a smart ass.
I cannot provide any advice but since you only asked for opinions...
I would not attend the reunion. No way. He should be prepared for some sort of a litigation...civil action rather than criminal given the circumstances. This may wind up being no more than an attempt to besmirch his name in court papers since no criminal action is possible at this late date. But anyone can file suit against anyone. This is a tactic unto itself and if he is not certain of this woman's resources, she may have the wherewithall to file a suit to simply make his life hell. Forwarned is fore-armed.
And they “prove” it by taking a case to grand jury,, and indicting you. (Using his apology as proof he did “something”)
And im not talking civil, where a threatening lawyer letter might shut her up, im talking criminal. If this crazy woman believes it happened, and gets a feminazi-type or Nifong-type DA to listen to her,,,, he could be in over his head fast. Def worth a lawyer visit. He’s almost sure to avoid a conviction,, but how he acts now could decide if that is nearly free, or costs him 75,000 bucks.
Little things matter here for him.
I’ll add my concurrence with the advice that your friend should speak with an attorney.
People have been known to hurl accusations of child molestation that are not true. My cousin was going through a nasty divorce. One day, he was pulled out of a client meeting by police officers. The wife, not happy with the proposed financial settlement, accused him of molesting their son. The charges were unfounded; she couldn’t prove them; so the case was dismissed.
My cousin,a practicing attorney, thought he could handle the divorce all by himself. He was wrong. Had he consulted with another attorney, things might have gone a lot better and he would not have had to face these unfounded charges. So yes, your friend should seek some counsel at least to find out what the law is and what his options are.
“since no criminal action is possible at this late date”
I’ll say again,, it could be possible, depends on the state and the circumstances. It’s unlikely, but by no means impossible. More than a few people have been prosecuted LONG after the fact, repressed memories, etc.
“had been a Christian for over 20 years” What would that have to do with anything?
I've read that some states have changed their statute of limitations laws in cases like this.
“make me wish I was a liberal”
You probably never belonged on this site anyway, HUFF PO will enjoy your company, good riddance, noob.
Yes, but probably only in the last 8-10 years, and they would not apply to cases prior to their passage. Prohibitions on ex post facto laws should apply.
Some states have extened or eliminated the statute of limitations on child molestation. Also, civil and criminal limitations can vary. I would contact a lawyer and find out for sure before resting easy.
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