Child molestation is one of the worst crimes, and most people wouldn’t risk their reputation looking into a situation to see if the charges were legitimate. Not me.
When I found out the son of a longtime family friend and pastor was wrongfully in prison for child molestation, I decided to investigate. It didn’t make any sense that a man from such an honorable family, who had served an illustrious career in the Marines with over 50 awards and ribbons on his uniform, would engage in such repulsive behavior.
I wrote an article about Colonel Dan Wilson for The Christian Post in June 2018. In it, I laid out the case for his innocence. I reviewed the evidence. I spoke with his siblings, including one who sat through the entire trial. They all believed he was innocent.
Here’s the story. The highly decorated Marine Colonel was hanging out with some friends and their three young daughters. His wife was also there. This was a young family who he had helped. The adults were drinking. The girls were rough housing with him. At one point, one of the girls, age 6, fell on the hard wooden floor and started crying.
Her mother, who had drank four vodka cocktails in addition to taking Xanax, took her into the bathroom. The mother then accused Wilson of molesting the girl. Even though Wilson was never by himself with the girl. Others were always present.
Still, the military tribunal found Wilson guilty of child molestation. However, they found him innocent of nine other serious charges. They found him guilty of lesser, unrelated offenses, including telling crude jokes and being AWOL for two days (which he disputes). Notably, no civilian would ever be convicted criminally for telling crude jokes. He was sentenced to prison for five-and-a-half years. He began serving the term in 2017.
Shortly after I wrote the article, I received a threatening legal letter from a law firm representing the accuser’s family. They demanded that I take down the article from The Christian Post within 24 hours or they would consider legal action against me.
The lawyers found both my home address and my employer’s address and sent out two letters. They obviously doubled up to intimidate me — and my employer. When you work as a journalist, in a competitive field, the threat to your job is scary. The lawyers undoubtedly knew that.
I prayed about it and did not respond. I hadn’t done anything wrong. I’d merely reported the facts. But it was still stressful, because litigation can wear someone down even if they are the innocent party. I don’t have the money to afford a good attorney to defend myself. I would be forced to represent myself, and even though I am an attorney, this is not my area of expertise. Thankfully, and perhaps tellingly, they never sued me. It was all a bluff.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Rachel Alexander