what can be done about vicious rumours?

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what can be done about vicious rumours?

My sons step-mother is spreading rumours that my son “raped” her daughter. None of which is true. He was legally charged with a felony aggravated assault charge because he admitted to “humping” her like an animal would when he was 12. No skin contac was made. He is now 17 and his legal obligations have been filled for 2 years now. She is contacting his girlfriends and telling them these rumours and he has lost 2 girlfriends already. What can we do?

Asked on June 24, 2009 under Family Law, Ohio

Answers:

M.S., Member, Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Although I do not practice law in the State of Ohio, here are my initial impressions.  If you are able to demonstrate that the step-mother's allegations are untrue, you son may theoretically have a claim for libel.  However, truth is a defense to a libel action, and even though your son did not technically rape anyone, his guilty plea may complicate matters.  On the other hand, there may be other solutions to this problem.  His step-mother's actions may constitute criminal harassment.  Moreover, since your son and his step-mother are technically "family", he may be able to have a restraining order issued against her to prevent her from continuing to place these telephone calls.  I recommend that you consult with and/or retain an attorney in Ohio to discuss the above as well as any other potential remedies that may exist pursuant to Ohio law.


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