Defamation Suit After Child Disappearance

Christopher Abeyta was just a 7-month old infant when he disappeared from his crib in Colorado Springs, CO. Fast forward almost 30 years, and his family is in court as the defendants in a defamation suit.

Emma Bradshaw, a rumored mistress of Christopher’s father, filed a suit for defamation after she claims the Abeyta’s accused her of being a suspect in the disappearance.

Bradshaw claims that the Abeyta family’s suspicions of her involvement in Christopher’s disappearance have gone beyond just thoughts. She is claiming in court that because of their alleged insistence that she was involved, she has suffered damages to her reputation.  Bradshaw is claiming that the Abeyta’s have gone as far as e-mailing her boss, causing her to lose her job.

Emma Bradshaw is not the first to sue for being accused of a crime she claims she did not commit.  JonBenet Ramsey was a child found murdered in the basement of her home. After a grueling investigation, there were no clear answers. Police at the time suspected Ramsey’s family, but much argument and a lack of DNA evidence led to the family’s clearance of any charges. This case has led to many defamation suits. The family sued multiple news outlets as well as the police force for naming them as suspects, and the family has been sued as well for naming other suspects in a published book.

Not all of these cases resulted in a winning suit. Defamation is a detailed, intricate area of the law that constantly approaches the slippery slope regarding where free speech ends. Additionally, if people are reporting something true, a person cannot sue them for defamation. In summary, defamation cases are carefully argued and constructed by lawyers on both sides because of the he-said she-said nature of many of the claims.

However, if an accusation a person makes about another person is presented as a statement of fact and harms their reputation resulting to a loss of career or personal relationships, the accused might have a case for defamation.

A more infrequent area of personal injury law, Daniel Szalkiewicz and Associates, P.C. constantly defends and represents defamation cases. An injury to one’s reputation can lead to multiple losses in life, both professionally and personally. If you feel you might be experiencing defamation, please contact us and receive the representation you deserve.