What to do if my son is falsely being verbally accused of molesting my sister in-law’s daughter for a alleged incident 30 years ago?

UPDATED: Sep 3, 2013

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What to do if my son is falsely being verbally accused of molesting my sister in-law’s daughter for a alleged incident 30 years ago?

My son was 9 and her daughter was 8 at the time. They said his **** touched her leg. My son is now 37 but my sister in-law and her husband (my brother) are now accusing him of attempted statutory rape and molestation. My son has stated nothing like this ever happened. My sister in-law has threatened to tell my son’s wife and their the 3 and 9 year old daughters their father is a molester. She also leaves us threatening phone messages. We are traveling out of state to meet with them to resolve these claims. If we cannot resolve these issues, do we have legal rights to stop them from falsely accusing my son is a molester?

Asked on September 3, 2013 under Criminal Law, Arizona


Anne Brady / Law Office of Anne Brady

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If they tell a third party that your son is a former molester (at the ripe age of 9) when they know that to be false and the falsehood harms your son (for example, his wife leaves him or he loses a job), then your son would have a case against them for defamation.  However, that all seems unlikely here.  First of all, they apparently were told this piece of information by the sister-in-law's daughter, the alleged "victim," and believe it therefore to be true.  Secondly, it is unlikely this lie will cause your son any actual damages, as it allegedly happened almost 30 years ago and even if she believed it, it seems unlikely his wife would even care.

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