The setup: Akron, Ohio, 2004. A costly and messy divorce, with a five-year-old child caught in the middle. She, Victoria Douglas, says he, Rodd Sutton, sexually abused their daughter. Victoria prints out and distributes flyers with his name and address and the words "CHILD RAPIST. BE ALERT! PROTECT YOUR CHILDREN."
Akron city police investigate and find no evidence of abuse. Nearby Springfield township police investigate and find no evidence of abuse. Akron City Hospital investigates and finds no evidence of abuse. Summit County Children Services investigate and find no evidence of abuse.
Victoria Douglas, with custody of the child, gives her house to her mother to avoid losing it in the legal fallout, and flees with the child to Florida.
Fast forward to August 2009, when a jury decides Victoria Douglas should pay $1.2 million in damages for defamation, invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress, including $136,000 for the value of the house. Sutton's lawyers doubt that he will be able to collect the damages.
So this woman (and I use the word begrudgingly) ruins this man's life; steals his child through completely false allegations; defames him with flyers that all but beg the public to break into his house and rough him up (or worse); forces a hospital, two police agencies and the Children Services board to spend who-knows-how-much on investigating her wild claims, taking those investigators, doctors and social workers away from their actual duties where they could be helping people... and she basically gets away scot-free. She has custody of the child, she's living it up in Florida, and he probably won't see a dime of the settlement. My only hope is that he pursues this and uses this judgment to get custody of his child away from that nutcase. read more »