• April 15, 2024

She Falsely Accused An Army Colonel Of Rape, And Now She Is Paying Dearly…

If you are going to accuse someone of rape, you better be sure you have named the right person and enough evidence to support your claim!

Army Colonel David “Wil” Riggins was on the verge of being promoted to brigadier general when a female blogger from Washington state accused him of rape. The two had been cadets at West Point in 1986.

Col. Riggins, a highly-decorated veteran of both Iraq and Afghanistan, was up for promotion to brigadier general in July 2013 when he was accused of raping a fellow cadet at West Point in 1986. The accuser, Susan Shannon of Everett, Washington, claimed that Riggins sexually assaulted her after she was provided free beer on the West Point campus and drank herself unconscious. Shannon, 52, further alleged that Riggins had “smugly admitted he did indeed rape” her.

Riggins vehemently denied the claim, and reportedly waived his right to an attorney and gave a statement. When an Army Criminal Investigative Division investigation was launched, he reported he had a short relationship with Shannon in 1983 that included at least one consensual sexual encounter. Shannon called Riggins’ version of events “a complete fabrication.”

When Shannon resigned from the military academy in the spring of 1986, court records indicated that she denied having been sexually assaulted. It wasn’t until July 15, 2013 – around 27 years later, and just 13 days after Riggins’ nomination to become a one-star general was announced – that she made the accusation in an article posted on her online blog.

While the military’s investigation was inclusive, saying it could not prove or disprove Shannon’s allegations, then-Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh ultimately recommended that Riggins not be promoted, writing, “I do not have faith and confidence in Colonel Riggins’ judgment and character.” Riggins, who was never charged with rape or sexual assault, then retired and filed a defamation complaint against Shannon.

In his suit, Riggins wrote that Shannon’s rape claim was “provably false” and that she made the accusation “to intentionally derail [his] promotion.” Shannon countered that she did not know Riggins was up for promotion when she made the claim less than two weeks after the announcement of his nomination.

“I had no idea, I don’t read the military press,”she said.

The lawsuit stated that Riggins said the two dated briefly and that Shannon left West Point for medical school.

The jury determined that Shannon defamed Riggins with her blog posts about the alleged rape.

With this, a jury in Virginia sided with Col. Riggins against blogger Shannon in Riggins’ defamation lawsuit, the Washington Post reports.

The jury deliberated for less than three hours before ordering Shannon to pay $3.4 million in compensation for damage to his reputation and $5 million in punitive damages, the Post reports.

The final settlement is likely to be reduced to $2.3 million under Virginia law. Shannon’s testimony was so flawed that “we thought who was telling the truth was too obvious to be discussing,” says juror Marshall Reinsdorf. “We held a vote, and everybody believed the colonel. The only argument was how big the damages were going to be.”

He says they decided on $5 million damages to make sure “nothing like this will ever happen again.” Shannon, a mother of three, insists that she was telling the truth and says she now feels like she is Riggins’ “financial slave for life.” 

Watch the video report below for more details:

Sources: AWM, Washington Post

The Daily Allegiant