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Man fights to rebuild reputation after false sexual assault charges

A recent two-part series in the Los Angeles Times by Christopher Goffard tells the story of a man who experienced a living nightmare when he was falsely accused of sexually assaulting an ex-girlfriend and the mother of his young son. The man could not believe what was happening to him as he was arrested in front of his son's school and brought to jail where he spent the next three months in a single-bunk cell. He was dumbfounded when he learned he was charged with kidnapping, torture, attempted murder and sexual assault, among other charges. The man thought he would be released right away because his ex-girlfriend was definitely lying to detectives. He ended up spending three months in prison because the charges were so serious he was denied bail.

The couple had been fighting over custody of their son (who was five at the time of the arrest for the sex crimes) practically since he was born. The mother had moved to another state and the man had flown there in order to pick up the son for the weekend the morning of the arrest. The man told authorities that the accusations were about the custody case and the boy's mother had lied before to try to get the father to lose custody.

In the end, he was lucky. He was a chatty, well-dressed and memorable person who had made trips to a bagel store and the bank to get cash while waiting for his son's school to let out. Because he was caught on security cameras at the bank and remembered at the sandwich shop, he had an alibi that showed that he could not have been at his ex-girlfriend's.

He still wonders what would have happened if he had had breakfast before he boarded his flight from Las Vegas to California and hadn't needed to go to the sandwich shop and bank. His ex-girlfriend has not yet been charged with filing a false police report. He has primary custody of his son, but still shares custody with the boy's mother. He was given an official certificate of his innocence and has slowly been rebuilding his life.


In this assault case, the puzzle pieces don't fit (Los Angeles Times)

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