Tuscaloosa sheriff’s office vindicated, threatens legal action against internet trolls

0

Tuscaloosa County Sheriff Ron Abernathy called a press conference on Wednesday to announce the lawsuit over an investigation regarding the alleged rape of Megan Rondini, a former University of Alabama who killed herself after reporting a sexual assault as a student, has been dismissed.

The lawsuit at hand, filed in July 2017, claims the school and Tuscaloosa law enforcement officials mishandled Rodini’s sexual assault allegations, which led her to commit suicide.

News of the dismissal comes two months after the University of Alabama reached a settlement agreement with the Rodini family from their portion of the suit.

“A lawsuit filed against two investigators and me regarding the Megan Rondini suicide has been dismissed,” Abernathy announced at the press conference. “It was dismissed because it was unfounded from the beginning.”

He continued, “After several months of unjust accusations against my office and other Tuscaloosa law enforcement agencies, the truth has indeed finally prevailed… This case and the investigation has undergone complete scrutiny, proving beyond any doubt that the accusations previously made against the Sheriff’s Office and our community were completely false.”

Abernathy claims false allegations made about the case have led some victims to be “reluctant to come forward to report cases.”

“We hope this incident will serve as a lesson to all that social media cannot, and should not, be the venue in which any case is tried, and that social media sites should not be trusted as a reliable source of substantiated information regarding important matters. False allegations made by internet bloggers and perpetuated by local political hacks have done damage to our community in that some victims have been reluctant to come forward to report cases, fearing that their information will be made known on social media,” he said.

He also threatened to take legal action against those who have publicly weighed in on the case; “For those who have facilitated these injustices on Facebook and other sites, civil litigation should be expected, if for no other reason than to prevent this from occurring in the future.”

“Baseless slander directed against innocent parties should be addressed and the offending parties held accountable. Those who perpetuate the false allegations for their own political gain should be held accountable. Their lack of integrity and self-serving disregard for the truth resulted in an unjustified attack on our community and many of its most respected institutions. Our message must be strong and clear, that libelous behavior will not be tolerated,” Abernathy concluded.

Read Abernathy’s full statement below:

When I was elected Sheriff of Tuscaloosa County, I understood the public position I was taking and that criticism often comes with it. As Sheriff, unwarranted attacks on my character and judgement come with the job, except for intentional, false, misleading and malicious conduct. We trust that the truth will ultimately prevail. After several months of unjust accusations against my office and other Tuscaloosa law enforcement agencies, the truth has indeed finally prevailed.

A lawsuit filed against two investigators and me regarding the Megan Rondini suicide has been dismissed. It was dismissed because it was unfounded from the beginning. The investigation that was the subject of the lawsuit has been examined thoroughly and completely by several entities, and actions taken by Sheriff’s Office investigators have been affirmed. After it was investigated, it was heard in its entirety by a Grand Jury. No probable cause that a crime had occurred was found and no indictment was issued. Our actions were questioned and, at my request, the Alabama Attorney General’s Office reviewed the case and approved our investigators’ actions, and the investigative process. Finally, a federal district court decided the case and dismissed all civil litigation against me and against the investigators. This case and the investigation has undergone complete scrutiny, proving beyond any doubt that the accusations previously made against the Sheriff’s Office and our community were completely false.

We hope this incident will serve as a lesson to all that social media cannot, and should not, be the venue in which any case is tried, and that social media sites should not be trusted as a reliable source of substantiated information regarding important matters. False allegations made by internet bloggers and certain out of state journalists, and perpetuated by local political hacks have done damage to our community in that some victims have been reluctant to come forward to report cases, fearing that their information will be made known on social media. For those who have facilitated these injustices on Facebook and other sites, civil litigation should be expected, if for no other reason than to prevent this from occurring in the future.

Baseless slander directed against innocent parties should be addressed and the offending parties held accountable. Those who perpetuate the false allegations for their own political gain should be held accountable. Their lack of integrity and self-serving disregard for the truth resulted in an unjustified attack on our community and many of its most respected institutions. Our message must be strong and clear, that libelous behavior will not be tolerated.

Share.

Comments are closed.

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons
Processing...
Thank you! Your subscription has been confirmed. You'll hear from us soon.
Sign-up for Alabama Today's The Cheat Sheet
The morning read of Alabama politics
ErrorHere
%d bloggers like this: