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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70694
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I disclosed a rape that happened many years ago to a few people.

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I disclosed a rape that happened many years ago to a few people. I decided never to bring the case to court. Due to a lack of conviction, could the naming of the person be defamation of character?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Yes, I'm afraid so. An allegation of rape is a defamatory statement unless you can prove it is true.
If you have done this already then there is nothing that can be done about that now. It is very unlikely he will sue for defamation as it is expensive to do so and not really worth it unless an accuser has a large amount of money.
A more likely option is that he would sue in harassment but he can only do that if you repeat these allegations of otherwise act against him as there needs to be more than one incident.
If you do nothing now to worsen this it is very unlikely that anything would happen.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Does the statute of limitation run from when the allegation was first made or when the claimant became aware of the accusation?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
When the defamatory statement is uttered but he can apply to have time extended under S32 Limitation Act on the basis that he didn't know about it which might be accepted.
It won't happen though unless you repeat the allegation or make any other which would start time running again or would give rise to a claim in harassment.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
If the defendant doesn't have much money but has equity in a house, would that be used? This is my last question! I have OCD so even though the allegation was made 8 years ago to a policeman, way past the statute of limitation my brain is still on over drive. I have been through extensive counselling and suffer from OCD and extreme anxiety. My worst fear is I will do something that will cause my family to become homeless. I understand that this question has had two responses thus I am more than happy to leave a bonus.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Yes, he could seek an order and enforce against the house equity.
But he will still have to fund the application which is not likely.
I very rarely advise a defamation action because of the expense. What I advise people to do is wait for a second incident and then sue in harassment.
As long as there isn't a second incident then nothing should happen.
Do bear in mind that a second incident doesn't just mean another allegation though.
Just leave him alone, don't get anybody to contact him or incite them to do anything else and nothing will happen.
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