Susan Shannon

A blogger named Susan Shannon from Everett, Washington, who was 52 years old at the time, wrote an article about a US Army colonel that made some very serious claims. Shannon’s blog says that Army Colonel David “Wil” Riggins sexually assaulted her when they were both cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in New York in 1986. She wrote about the claims on her blog, Short Little Rebel, in 2013, but the post has since been taken down.

Shannon said that Riggins raped her in 1986 when he drove her home from a party where she had been drinking. Riggins drove her somewhere, and she says that when she fell asleep in the car, he slept with her while she was out. Riggins went on to have a long and successful career in the Army, rising to the rank of colonel, but she soon dropped out of West Point.

While she dropped out, Riggins progressed to higher ranks

Shannon says she didn’t tell anyone about what happened at the time because the army had a “code of silence.” Shannon says she didn’t talk about the alleged rape even during her exit interview because the army told her to keep quiet and not tell on her peers. But after almost 30 years, she decided to tell what she said was a painful secret.

Shannon says that reading about high-profile cases of sexual assault in the military that went to court made her want to talk about what she says happened to her. She didn’t report it to the police, though. Instead, she wrote about it on her blog, Short Little Rebel, and said that Riggins was the one who had done it. And the timing was strange.

Riggins Career and Reputation are Hurt

Just before Susan Shannon wrote the bad things about Riggins, it was announced that the colonel had been chosen for a big promotion. Shannon said that when she wrote her blog, she didn’t know that Riggins had been nominated. She said that she didn’t know about it until Army officials who were looking into her post called her.

Just before his major promotion, his career was cut short

The claims turned Riggins’s successful military career on its head almost right away. The Alexandrian combat veteran, who had served in Iraq and Afghanistan, was about to be promoted to brigadier general when Army leaders saw Shannon’s blog post about being raped. Because his name was dragged through the mud, Riggins was quickly passed over for a promotion.

Riggins Fights Back

All of the accusations were strongly denied by the colonel who had won a lot of awards.

After looking into it, the military decided there wasn’t enough proof to charge Riggins with rape, but the damage was already done. Because of the investigation, his time in the Army was ruined, and he had to leave.

After the accusations hurt his career, he chose to fight back. “I didn’t rape Susan Shannon. I didn’t do anything sexual to Susan Shannon. “Her story is false in every way that can be checked,” he said.

So, Army Colonel Wil Riggins sued Susan Shannon for libel, saying that what she said about him hurt his chances of getting a promotion.

The jury agreed with the colonel and told the blogger to pay Riggins $8.4 million in damages: $3.4 million for hurting his reputation and lost wages, and $5 million in punitive damages “to make sure nothing like this ever happens again.”

Shannon may have done what she did because she was jealous of how well her former coworker was doing. This may have brought out her dark side. She will have to work hard for the rest of her life to pay for the damage she caused.

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