Dear Lawyer:I have an issue that I need advice on. Many years ago, when I was 19, I was groped and the groper tried to get me to touch him in an inappropriate place, but I pulled away from his grip and ran to tell his parents. The parents confronted him and he admitted that he was wrong and apologized to me and to my husband. (his brother). Fast forward 29 years later... out of the blue, I get a phone call from my ex-sister in law and she proceeded to tell me that he is being taken to court by his ex wife for custody of their children, because she thinks he is molesting them. When he finds out about this, he immediately starts telling his family that the reason he behaves inappropriately and has lost many jobs, is due to the fact that I molested him when he was 15. I am beside myself with worry, because I was the victim of his molestation. Now, he is trying to make it seem like it was all me. What should I do?
Country relating to Question: United States
State (if USA): Connecticut
It appears that you may have a claim for slander and defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress against this person. However, to succeed on such a claim, you must be able to demonstrate some form of quantifiable harm (loss of money and/or job prospects or customers because of the defamatory allegations heard by third parties, and/or that you had to go for psychological treatment as a result of the statements which caused you mental trauma).
I have a pristine record - so can he really bring charges against me? I did nothing wrong. I have a long history of good work records and have the backing of his family to corrororate that he was the assaultant, not me. What are my chances if he pursues this?
You do not need to do anything at this point. Quite frankly, it would be very surprising if this person actually filed criminal molestation charges against you, as it would expose him to criminal liability for groping you (and perhaps others as well). Your chances of success if he pursues the claim are excellent as he would need proof and some form of corroboration on his side. It appears that everyone, including his own family know the truth. In addition, since he is going through a divorce, his soon to be ex wife could testify on your behalf as well. But as I stated previously, it is extremely unlikely he will do anything except try to drag your name through the mud.
Thank you SO much! I feel a little better. But will feel a lot better once this whole thing goes away.
My pleasure. Just remember, this person is angry and just wants to hurt you by trying to damage your reputation by engaging in a little "name-calling". It is childish, but I would be shocked if it amounted to anything further than that.
10+years of experience in all matters of civil litigation and Hearing Officer/Arbitrator
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