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I am a senior manager at an insurance agency. I recently got sexually involved with a woman at work after an office party. We danced and had a good evening and when I dropped her off at her place, she invited me for a drink and one thing led to another.
She later went to a hospital and alleged I raped her in her house then filed a report with a lawyer to file a legal suit against me. I have talked with her lawyer and he is demanding Sh800,000 as compensation to the lady and for his legal fees to end the matter or proceed to file the case.
This could ruin my reputation at the office, cost me my job and even destroy my family. I don’t know what to do, please advise me.
What the readers say:
If your conscience is clear then just stay put. There was once a case between Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill in the US and Clarence, who had just been nominated to the Supreme Court, won because he was innocent. In any event, do not admit liability. In case she goes to court, there must be sufficient evidence to have you convicted. You may have to be plain with your family, should it come to that.
The only problem is that whatever you say now might not hold any water and she is the only one who can save you from this situation. One mistake that you can’t separate yourself from, is that you went to her house, drunk and did it. Her objective has so far been achieved. If you have the ability then just pay up. One day, her sins will eventually catch up with her.
Those two just want to fleece you of your money and then move on to another target. If you pay the money they are asking for, what good will it do to help heal the situation she is suing you for? Let them go to court and sort the matter out from there. Get a better lawyer and when you win, slap them with costs for the case then we shall see who will have the last laugh.
Your only option here is to get a lawyer to advise you because this might become an issue for which they will always extort money from you. If you pay now, they will never stop so remain stubborn and firm about and let them do what they have to do. If you show them money, they will never let you have a moment of peace and they will keep coming back.
Jediel, this is a rather complex situation to be caught up in with everything that just about makes who you are is at stake. This is not made any easier by the manner in which rape allegations are handled not only in Kenya but worldwide where the man is always portrayed to be guilty initially until proven innocent. However, even when proven innocent the cloud of social stigma follows them everywhere.
At first instance you have two options; one, to settle the issue with money (this is the easy way out) and two, to cock your guns and face them in the courts. You may choose to negotiate the settlement fee downwards to a figure that will be reasonable for you. Even with this approach, you will still need to get your own legal representation to ensure everything is done well. This is also bearing in mind that pursuing this case is also going to be a costly undertaking and it will take a toll on every aspect of your life.
The other option would involve facing them off and challenging them to file the case and in the event you are proven innocent, they will be on the receiving end to pay damages so it will not only be expensive for you but also for her. There are many ways of proving that the intercourse was consensual and these may include the circumstances under which it happened, text messages or other forms of communication you may have exchanged and others. It will however require a criminal law expert who can review and identify areas where you can poke holes in their accusations. However, this path will not be easy for you at all even though it is possible.
Despite the gloomy situation, there are still a few lessons you should from this. The first and most crucial is to avoid sexual affairs at the work place and more so in your position as a manager. The other is to take time and get to know women before you engage intimately (if you really have to). It may sound old fashioned but it will save you a lot of trouble and more so eliminate the risks of finding yourself in such situation again. Weigh your options and know that on one hand paying them off may not solve the issue at hand and this will only give them leverage to keep coming back for more. Also talk to a few street wise friends and they may give you a few ideas on how to go about this.
Simon is a relationships counsellor
Blackmail and extortion thrive on secrecy and guilt. If you can break from the hold of either guilt or secrecy then you will have taken the sting out of your blackmailers. Thid way you will have rediced the blackmailers’ leverage over you.
Giving in to their demands may sound like the easier way out but there is no guarantee that this would be the end of this. A common characteristic of blackmailers is that they rarely leave their victims once their demands are met. Therefore, It would not be a surprise to see them coming back with more accusations and more demands. So there is likely to be no relief in paying the figure that they are demanding
You would be safer falling in familiar hands than in the hands of your enemies. In other words, you had better face your family and tell them the truth. It will hurt them but there are high chances that they would still stand by your side.
The other advantage of being open to your family is that it will give you real freedom. If you choose to go this way, then you will need to arm yourself with a competent lawyer and fight it out in court. You are not denying to have had a sexual contact with this lady. However, it will not be easy to prove a rape incident.
As for your job, the atmosphere at your place of work will no longer be conducive for either of you. Most likely you would be thinking of changing your job.
If handled well, you will soon be out of this murky waters but remember to carry with you the invaluable lessons learnt.
Wish you all the best.
Hilda Boke Mahare has a background in Counselling Psychology
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The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Evewoman.co.ke