Friday, December 20, 2013

A man's life was almost ruined...

because a teenager was looking at sexually explicit material online and got caught by her mother.  The teenager explained her behavior by making up a story about being sexually assaulted when she was a kid.  She falsely claimed that Johnathon Montgomery had molested her when she was ten years old and he was fourteen.  She said she had named Montgomery because he had moved away from their area and she figured the cops would never find him.  But they did find him in Florida and he was arrested, even though he insisted that he hadn't touched the girl.  Apparently, she made up the story because her mother wanted to know why she was looking at porn and wondered if she had been abused.

In 2008, the young woman, Elizabeth Paige Coast, was 17 years old.  In court, she testified that Montgomery had defiled her in several different ways and apparently, her testimony was so graphic that she was able to convince a jury and a prosecutor of his guilt.  As a result of her testimony, Montgomery was sentenced to seven and a half years behind bars.  In October 2012, Coast, then working as a civilian at the police department, told a police officer friend that she had made up the story.  At that point, Montgomery had spent four years in prison and expected to spend a few more behind bars.  Just now, in December 2013, this man has finally been declared completely innocent.

I don't know about you, but I think this is a pretty sickening situation.  I am very glad Montgomery was eventually found innocent, but what about those years he spent in prison, wrongly accused of a crime?  

I just read about this case today.  I don't live in Virginia anymore and had gotten out of the habit of religiously following stuff going on there.  And that makes me think that Johnathon Montgomery was just languishing behind bars before that woman finally came clean and revealed the truth.  I have to wonder, how in the world could she live with herself for those four years, knowing that an innocent man was sitting in a prison cell based on her lies?  And all because she was too ashamed to tell her mother the truth about why she was looking at sexually explicit stuff on the Internet.

Montgomery will never get those years back.  I am sure he's happy to be out of prison.  I can't even imagine what he endured in there… and how he managed to adapt after he was wrongly accused of being a sex offender.  Hell, if that woman hadn't finally told the truth, even if he had gotten out of prison, he would have had to live the life of a sex offender, even though he's totally innocent.

God only knows how this affected his family.  How much time, money, and resources were exhausted to prove Montgomery's innocence?  And now that he's out of the joint, he's going to have to make a living.  But at least he doesn't have to do it as a registered sex offender.

I see that in May of 2013, Coast confessed to committing perjury for making those false statements and had to spend 60 days in jail.  She was also fined $90,000.  It seems like a very small price to pay for what she did to Johnathon Montgomery.  I'm glad the guilt got to her at last and she did the right thing.  But a man's life was almost ruined, thanks to her lies.  She is fortunate that Montgomery appears to be a forgiving sort.  I wouldn't blame him if he sued the shit out of her.  Perhaps a testament to Montgomery's good nature is that he has apparently said that he doesn't think Coast should have to go to prison for what she did.




4 comments:

  1. Wow that is so incredibly sad. I think she ought to be made to pay him the amount of money he would have made for every year he spent in prison. $90,000 just isn't enough. I also think she should have to go to jail and spend as much time there as he spent. Maybe then she would truly be punished by having to endure the suffering she made him endure.

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    1. Even better… she is allowed to serve the time on weekends. Ridiculous. I can't believe that sentence was passed in Virginia.

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  2. Why should the $90,000 she was fined go anywhere but directly to him? And that would be a very small compensation to the poor guy. I think she's getting off entirely too lightly too.

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    1. It was my understanding that he would get the money, but I'm not entirely sure about that. She probably doesn't have $90,000 anyway… but I agree, she ought to be paying a lot more.

      The only thing I can think of that mitigates this situation is that she was apparently shamed by her mother for looking at porn. Perhaps if mom hadn't kept badgering her about whether or not she was abused, this would have ended differently. She was obviously scared or ashamed to tell her mother the truth. While that certainly doesn't excuse what she did, it may offer a partial explanation. In fact… this thought is giving me something to blog about right now.

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