Is false rape accusation considered slander?

Asked over 4 years ago - Flagstaff, AZ

Bob had 2 affairs at work. Girl A was off & on for 2.5yrs. While they were off, he was w girl B 3 times in a month, she provided the condoms. Girls A&B dislike each other & almost a year later, girl B finds out he's w girl A. Girl B reports he raped her. All 3 are married. Big investigation follows & all co-workers are questioned. Bob's life is devastated, he's removed fr old position, gets ill at wrk, borderline suicidal, seeing mental health docs & may lose family& deals w ugly looks & rumors. Girl B plans to quit in a couple months & move, as co-workers are aware of false claims. So far, no financial loss yet, but is possible in near future as he works for govt. & will be punished for adultery. Does Bob have grounds to sue her and for what?

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Jeffrey D. Lee

    Contributor Level 11

    Answered . Yes. A false accusation of criminal activity made to a third party when the person making the accusation knows it is false is slander per se under Arizona law and is technically actionable without financial loss.

    HOWEVER, winning a tort suit without financial loss is very difficult. But from what you describe a good lawyer might be able to demonstrate that the damage to his reputation as a result of the criminal accusation led to damage to his career and future earning potential.

    The other difficulty is establishing that the damage to his reputation is only from the rape accusation, and not from the fact that he was having affairs with two women at work.

    He should sit down for a consultation with an attorney to discuss his options and whether going forward with a suit would even be a good idea.

  2. Andrew Daniel Myers

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . Defamation requires proof that incorrect statements of fact, not opinion, were made to third parties and that it caused harm to you. Here is a link to a guide on defamation law to help you determine whether the law applies to your circumstances.

    I truly wish you the best.

    If you find my answer helpful, please click the ‘thumbs-up’ tab below. Thank you.

    This answer is offered for informational purposes only. It is not offered as, and does not constitute, legal advice. Laws vary widely from state to state. You should rely only on the advice given to you during a personal consultation by a local attorney who is thoroughly familiar with state laws and the area of practice in which your concern lies.

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