Jury orders blogger to pay $8.4 million to ex-Army colonel she accused of rape

Discussion in 'Mayberry Lounge' started by TidWell, Aug 11, 2017.

  1. TidWell

    TidWell Red Belt

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    Col. David “Wil” Riggins, after a highly decorated Army career that included multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, was on the verge of promotion to brigadier general in July 2013 when he got a phone call at the Pentagon from the Army’s Criminal Investigative Division to come in for a meeting. Once there, he learned that a blogger in Washington state had just accused him of raping her, when both were cadets at West Point in 1986. An investigation was underway.

    Riggins waived his right to an attorney and immediately gave a statement denying any sexual assault of the woman, Susan Shannon of Everett, Wash. Shannon also cooperated with the CID investigation, which could not “prove or disprove Ms. Shannon’s allegation she was raped,” the CID report concluded. But in the spring of 2014, with the armed forces facing heavy criticism for their handling of sexual assault cases, Secretary of the Army John McHugh recommended removing Riggins from the list for promotion to general. Riggins promptly retired.

    Then, Riggins sued Shannon for defamation, claiming that every aspect of her rape claim on the West Point campus was “provably false,” and that she wrote two blog posts and a Facebook post “to intentionally derail [his] promotion” to brigadier general. During a six-day trial that ended Aug. 1, a jury in Fairfax County, Va., heard from both Riggins and Shannon at length. And after 2½ hours of deliberation, they sided emphatically with Riggins, awarding him $8.4 million in damages, an extraordinary amount for a defamation case between two private citizens. The jury ordered Shannon to pay $3.4 million in compensatory damages for injury to his reputation and lost wages, and $5 million in punitive damages, “to make sure nothing like this will ever happen again,” according to one of the jurors.

    In Virginia, punitive damages are limited to $350,000, and lawyers for both sides said the compensatory damages would likely be reduced to $2 million, leaving a final judgment of $2.3 million against Shannon, a stay-at-home mother of three teenagers. The verdict came just days after a jury in Dallas awarded more than $1 million in damages to a wedding photographer who was harshly criticized by a beauty blogger, causing the photographer’s business to collapse.

    Shannon, 52, said she was devastated by the verdict and fearful for her family’s future. “I feel like I’m a financial slave for the rest of my life” to Riggins, Shannon said. “I told the truth in my article and at trial.” She and her lawyer, Benjamin Trichilo, said in an interview that they felt Fairfax Circuit Court Judge Daniel E. Ortiz wrongly prevented them from presenting witnesses and evidence about Riggins’s past and the Army CID investigation findings, and they plan to appeal.

    Riggins, 52, said the jury took the right steps toward restoring his life. “This journey we’ve been on the last four years,” Riggins said, “it’s been a nightmare. … The large dollar amount is meaningless. All I was looking for was the opportunity to be vindicated, to set the record straight, to take every action to get my reputation back to where it was before the 15th of July [2013], when she published that false accusation.”

    The rest of the story here
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news...l-she-accused-of-rape/?utm_term=.ee7f5cf4784e
     
  2. TidWell

    TidWell Red Belt

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    “I think the jury’s verdict,” Riggins said, “not only that they found her statements were false and defamatory, but the amount of the damages they assessed, speaks volumes.” Although Shannon had claimed, on a GoFundMe page seeking help with her legal bills, that Riggins’s suit would discourage sex assault victims from making reports, Riggins responded that “this will discourage other false accusations but would not discourage legitimate accusations of sexual assault.”

    Clare, the defamation lawyer, said, “We have tons of clients who want their reputation back. What they really want is a public vindication of the falsity.” He said a successful claim enables victors to take the judgment to websites like Facebook and Google and convince them to remove defamatory material.

    On Tuesday, a week after the verdict, Shannon deleted the two blog posts from 2013 about Riggins.
     
  3. lifelessheap

    lifelessheap Silver Belt

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    [​IMG]



    For far too long women have been free to destroy men's lives for fun, revenge or profit. Men rot in prison or lose everything, and nothing ever happens to the liars.

    Lets set some precedent.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017
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  4. spin_

    spin_ Silver Belt

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    If the guilty party was brought to light good.

    If the guilty party was not the one found at fault, tragic.
     
  5. mb23100

    mb23100 Silver Belt

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    She should also go to prison imo
     
  6. MrPaigeVanZant

    MrPaigeVanZant Stanley Cup Champion

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    She is a stay at home Mom,so he'll never see that money.
     
  7. MadSquabbles500

    MadSquabbles500 Gold Belt

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    Someone who blogs that she was raped like two decades ago probably dont have 8mil in bank.
     
  8. KILL KILL

    KILL KILL Gold Belt

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    She sounds poor.
     
  9. loyalyolayal

    loyalyolayal Gold Belt

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    Sucks that he couldn't retire as a general. Can't they at least promote him ceremoniously for him to get benefits and pension of a retired general?
     
  10. JaegerIT

    JaegerIT GET SOME

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    people should go to jail by accusing people based on lies, fucking cunt
     
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  11. TidWell

    TidWell Red Belt

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    Might as well just put her to prison lol
     
  12. KnightTemplar

    KnightTemplar Infinity Belt Platinum Member

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    Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

    If a man is guilty of rape, punish him to the most severe extent the law will allow. If a woman makes a flase allegation of rape, she should treated with the same severity.
     
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  13. Mike

    Mike Apathetic Belt

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  14. BEER

    BEER Resident Feminist Platinum Member

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    I'd be interested in the details of the trial.

    I'm curious as to how the Colonel could prove falsehoods in a story, 30 years removed.

    If that is true, the Army should ceremoniously promote Riggins and up his pension to compensate from a mistake.
     
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  15. mjmj

    mjmj Black Belt

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    There's obviously more to the story. What made her make such an accusation against someone she hasn't seen in 30 years?
     
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  16. ShoelessRye

    ShoelessRye Gold Belt

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    What was this woman's axe to grind with this guy if he didn't rape her all those years ago? I mean she was living her life as a stay-at-home mother with three teenage kids - why blog a lie about some obscure Colonel that nobody outside the military ever heard of?
     
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  17. Loiosh

    Loiosh Detective Platinum Member

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    This is where you have to be incredibly careful.

    I think this woman specifically should be punished for publicly saying he raped her having failed to prove it in court.

    I think women who make false accusations should only be punished if it is proven beyond doubt that it was in fact a false claim made with the intent to harm. Failing to prove a claim does not prove it was false.

    Proving rape is very difficult and many women don't even try. Most women don't try.
     
  18. OeuvrePressure

    OeuvrePressure Titanium Belt

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    Hopefully this will discourage false accusations of rape
     
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  19. Mariah Larry

    Mariah Larry 2018 #7 Larriest

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    I guess she could put those three kids to work. They say the secret to financial stability is multiple streams of income.
     
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  20. neverwas

    neverwas bondage belt

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    now she knows what its like to pay child support.
     

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