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So, I know this guy that has recently been accused, and then indicted by a grand jury, and turned himself in based on the warrant for his arrest. I got nothing for people who abuse children, but he doesn't seem the type. He also has huge piles of cash, and it just so happens that this was brought to the police attn during the same month his final alimony payment was made to his ex wife.....by his ex step daughter. The accuser is now in her 30's, and the alleged events took place 20 years ago. She and her mom have been living extremely well off this guy, and so I can't help but wonder if the end of the payments has more to do with it than any actual event. If he did it, he gets what he gets IMO. However, it raises 2 questions for me:
1) What are the odds that he would be indicted by a grand jury if there wasn't damning evidence?
2) What are the odds that he could be found not guilty, but then hammered in civil court for cash?
I can't really answer the 2nd question without having a lot more facts about the case, but I can give you somewhat of an answer to the first.
The standard of proof for a grand jury issuing an indictment is "probable cause", which is a pretty low standard of proof and considerably less than the "beyond a reasonable doubt" necessary for conviction. So, while I can't give you actual odds without, again, knowing more facts about the case, if there's anything suspicious at all or any possible evidence, it's very possible that the guy gets indicted.
Still, based on what you've told us, it sounds like there are a lot of questions surrounding motivations, and depending on what narrative each side presents, it could go either way. (ex. if I were the woman's lawyer, I'd say she waited 20 years to come forward because she was afraid of jeopardizing her mother's standard of living - juries are surprisingly sympathetic to something like that, and it's an easy way to flip and rebut the greed argument).
Would the statute of limitations be tolled if she willingly waited to bring charges? And that's a long time to toll the S.O.L.
I just got bored and looked up Alabama's statute (which I'm assuming applies based on the OP). No statute of limitations for sex crimes on an individual under the age of 16.
Thanks! I've just sort of worried about it, but I don't want to bug him with it. I know him pretty well, but I wouldn't defend anyone if I thought they were guilty of something like that. He really seems depressed, and I would venture that he would sue them for defamation of character (if possible) if and when he is found not guilty. They won't have much for him to get, since they spent most of what they got from him over the years, but I think he would do it on principle. He probably wouldn't have much of a case, and if it were me and I was innocent, I would probably be happy to leave well enough alone and move on from it. It's hard not to be vindictive, but I would imagine there comes a point where you can just be thankful it's over.
As with anyone, this guy has faults, but I couldn't imagine him hurting a child.
Sad thing about this is in the publics eye they will always think of him that way now if he is innocent or guilty.
A decent prosecutor could indict a ham sandwich.
Although I don't practice in the area of criminal, seems to me that prosecuting such a stale case would be a problematic undertaking. But in the civil arena, plaintiffs ring the bell all the time in child molestation cases; based on the circumstances there is a strong odor of fabricated allegations.
This post was edited by ftlaudcock 12 months ago
I really think so too, but sometimes I privately play devil's advocate and try to see where they were coming from by indicting him. I just can't see where any evidence would come from at this point, and since he's a friend, I obviously could be somewhat blinded by wanting him to be innocent. But again, I really don't know anyone else that knows him that thinks he would be capable of hurting a child, either. I'm in his corner until proven wrong.
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