“The flier went out to neighbors in bold letters: CHILD RAPIST.”
Thousands of our readers and supporters have been victims of false accusations during divorce. Principally these are spurious domestic violence accusations used to boot fathers out of their houses via restraining orders to gain advantage in custody proceedings. Other time they’re false sexual abuse claims.
One out of a thousand of these men are ever compensated for the wrongs done them. Rodd Sutton is the one.
From Man vindicated in child-rape case (Akron Beacon Journal, 8/22/09):
The flier went out to neighbors in bold letters: CHILD RAPIST.
The text contained the name and address of the accused with more bold words: BE ALERT! PROTECT YOUR CHILDREN.
Rodd Sutton, formerly of Akron, was the target of the flier. It was another part of his contentious custody dispute that began more than 10 years ago with his ex-wife, Victoria Douglas.
Police and Summit County Children Services investigated the rape complaint in 2004, when Douglas alleged her husband had inappropriate contact with their daughter, now 10.
Authorities found the charges untrue, but that didn’t stop the ex-wife from passing out the fliers to neighbors.
The husband, 46, then went on the offensive, suing his ex-wife and her mother.
A Summit County jury this month sided with Sutton, awarding him more than $1.2 million in damages for defamation, invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Sutton’s attorneys, Tim Hanna and James Campbell, said collecting the settlement might be an issue, but the case is about more than money, they said.
”Maybe it’s not about the issue of collecting,’ ‘ Campbell said. ”Maybe it’s about the principal of vindicating this guy and showing you can stand up for what you believe in”…
Douglas, 44, made the allegations to Akron and Springfield police, Akron Children’s Hospital and Children Services.
Each agency found no evidence of abuse.
Congratulations to Sutton. Also, I commend local Police and Summit County Children Services for investigating the cases fairly, instead of just “erring on the side of caution” by siding with the false accuser, as so often happens.
Commend reporter Phil Trexler for his fine coverage of this important story by writing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.