A recent two-part series in the Los Angeles Times by Christopher Goffard
chronicles a man’s horrifying experience of being falsely accused
of serious violent crimes, sexual assault and domestic violence. The man
was accused by a former girlfriend of torture, attempted murder and sexual
assault, but it turned out later that the woman had likely made up the
charges against him and staged the brutal attack, possibly alone.
The accusations occurred during a contentious custody fight for the ex-couple’s
five-year-old son. The former couple had dated briefly in college. A few
months after the end of the relationship, the man was informed by his
ex-girlfriend that she was pregnant. For most of the boy’s life,
the two fought over custody of the boy. The man says that the boy’s
mother always wanted him out of his son’s life; she had moved to
another state and had lied about
domestic violence charges before.
The man was arrested while waiting outside his son’s kindergarten
in California in order to pick him up and bring him back to his home in
Las Vegas. He had no idea what he was being arrested for. Later when he
was informed of the charges he was confident he would be released because
they weren’t true. He told investigators that the charges were all
about the custody fight.
He ended up in jail for three months because a judge denied bail due to
the seriousness of the charges. The lead detective in the case told prosecutors
he did not want to testify because he had doubts after a thorough investigation
that the woman’s story was true. The prosecution went ahead anyway
and only dropped the charges after the woman refused to testify as a witness.
The man eventually won an official declaration of his innocence from the
court. He has slowly rebuilt his life and now has primary custody of his
son, but he still worries that his ex-girlfriend could bring another false
case against him. No criminal charges have been brought yet against the
ex-girlfriend for filing the false report.
In this assault case, the puzzle pieces don’t fit (Los Angeles Times)