A Virginia jury has awarded a retired Army colonel $8.4 million in a defamation case against a blogger who accused him of raping her more than 30 years ago, while they were cadets at West Point.
The Washington Post reported Friday that Susan Shannon of Everett, Washington, made the allegations against Col. David “Wil” Riggins on her blog in 2013.
An Army investigation couldn’t “prove or disprove” Shannon’s allegations. The Fairfax County jury sided with Riggins, ordering Shannon to pay $3.4 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages. Attorneys said that under Virginia law, the actual damages will likely be limited to $2.3 million.
Shannon says she’s devastated. Her attorney plans an appeal.
Riggins says the jury took the right steps toward restoring his life.
It seems that more men are fighting back against these claims — or it could be that with the constant focus on the “rape culture,” more women are accusing men of rape and some of the men are choosing to fight back.
It is one thing if these allegations are true, but what if they are not or the woman perceived she was raped when she was not? Innocent men must stand up against false rape charges. But what are the chances this woman will pay out anything?