Couple Charged With Sexual Assault Wins Internet Defamation Lawsuit

A Texas couple, Mark Lesher, 63, and his wife, Rhonda, 50, were accused by a woman of sexual assault. Mark Lesher is a prominent attorney, and Rhonda was running a successful day spa. The accusation included a man who works on the Lesher’s ranch.   Before they stood trial in January 2009, there was a steady stream of attacks on the Web forum Topix.com.   The comments accused the couple of murder, encouraging pedophilia, drug abuse and other crimes that materially attack their characters.

In January 2009, the couple and their ranch hand were found not guilty on all charges.

Three years ago, the couple filed a 365-page lawsuit naming 178 pseudonyms used to post what they considered the most defamatory messages. They posted the lawsuit on Topix and served the company a subpoena to obtain the IP addresses. A Texas judge ordered Topix to turn over the identifying information about the anonymous posters. The Internet Protocol (IP) addresses led to a couple that owned a business, and accused the Lesher’s of sexual assault in 2008.

In July 2009, the Leshers filed an amended petition in the District Court of Tarrant County, Texas naming Shannon Coyel, the couple’s accuser; her husband Gerald Covel and his brother, James Coyel. Also named as a defendant was Apache Truck & Van Parts of Kennedale, Texas and two of its employers, Charlie and Pat Doescher.

mark-and-rhonda-lesher

Mark and Rhonda Lesher stand on the steps of Collin County Courthouse in McKinney, Texas, shortly after their acquittal of sexual assault charges Jan. 16, 2009.

On Friday, a jury awarded the Leshers a judgment of $13.78 million.

Mark and Rhonda Lesher stand on the steps of Collin County Courthouse in McKinney, Texas, shortly after their acquittal of sexual assault charges Jan. 16, 2009. On Friday, the couple were awarded

The Gazette reported a malicious prosecution suit is pending that names as defendants the Coyels and Red River County District Attorney Val Varley, who unsuccessfully prosecuted the sexual assault case against the Leshers. That suit accuses them of conspiring to convict the Leshers of a crime they did not commit. The newspaper reports that a jury trial is scheduled for August.

Ryan Calo, who teaches privacy law at Stanford Law School and is joining the faculty at the University of Washington School of Law, said

“Defamation is one area of law in which a jury or court have to figure out how much damage has been done. It’s not a car accident where you can calculate medical bills and how much work was lost after an injury. There’s something more ephemeral in a reputation.”

There is a difference between free speech, which states an opinion, and accusations stated as fact that have no basis in fact and causes harm to the personal lives of others.

There’s more on this story and other internet defamation stories on ABC News.

The Similarity of This Case and That Involving One of Our Writers

This case causes me to reflect on the individual who harasses one of our writers, Santiago, and accuses him of being a convicted woman and child abuser. Even after the court entered a restraining order against that person, he continues to violate it and continues to wrongfully accuse Santiago. After Santiago petitioned the court to hold the person in contempt for violating the restraining order, that person, or someone they collude with, tweeted a link to Santiago’s wife’s employer. The link was to a website where the defamatory material was posted. Santiago’s wife is a college professor.

A defense against a claim of defamation or libel is that it is the truth. In this matter, the decision entered by the court supports that the accuser deliberately defames. I say “deliberately” because that person purchased the case documents. They are not open to the public via a court’s website. The order of the court dismissing the case was just as easily obtainable as anything else in the case file.

If You Have Been Notified By Twitter That Your Account Information Has Been Subpoenaed, You Might Want to Read This.

Santiago’s accuser has had a protected Twitter account since about July 2014, just after the court entered a restraining order against him. Last week, he made that account public and tweeted to people that their Twitter account information was being subpoenaed. He also taunted them saying that they were or are going to be sued.

The person doing that, and who is referred to here as the “accuser” is the same person who last year threatened to continue filing copyright infringement complaints with Word Press until they delete this blog.

It has come to my attention that on Friday, Twitter sent email notifications to people advising them that their account information has been subpoenaed. It is interesting that Santiago’s accuser would know that information before Twitter sent notifications, and know who was being subpoenaed. The case involves the parents of Kendrick Johnson and the Bell’s. Kendrick’s parents filed a lawsuit accusing the Bell’s of wrongful death and a cover-up. The Bell’s responded with a counter-suit accusing the Johnson’s of defamation.

There is no mistake that when the known sovereign citizen, harasser and extortioner tweeted to others that their Twitter account information was being subpoenaed, that it pertains to the Bell’s case.

On October 23, 2015, CNN reported that the Department of Justice filed two motions in that case. One motion was to intervene and the other motion requests the court to stay discovery, including the subpoena issued to Twitter, for 180 days. Hearing on the motions is pending. It would be premature for Twitter to do anything until those motions are ruled on by the court.

CNN did not include copies of the DOJ’s motions, nor the subpoena in its article for the information to be public. It is reasonable to believe that Santiago’s accuser has inside information, and that is no surprise since he associates with Vicki Pate, who somehow obtained Kendrick Johnson’s autopsy photos and posted them on her blog.

The subpoena requests the account information for approximately 23 individuals.

Interestingly, several of the individuals whose account information has been subpoenaed were directly targeted by Santiago’s accusers and his co-conspirators for defamation and harassment. In fact, the individual had a blog that focused on demeaning and defaming Santiago, myself, and two of the individuals whose handles are included in the subpoena. Surprisingly, as of Saturday morning, that blog has now been deleted.

Another interesting item is that the harassers have submitted comments to this blog, and or placed me in mentions on Twitter, attacking another blogger. That blogger’s Twitter’s account information has also been subpoenaed.

It appears that the Bells’ cross-complaint is being used by known White Supremacists in effort to conduct a fishing expedition to obtain the personal information of others and to cause them irreparable harm. The White Supremacists who have had blogs attacking and defaming myself and others, make their blogs known mostly by sending the links in comments submitted to this blog. I’ve never approved those comments for public posting. Because their blogs are not popular, the majority of their targeted victims do not know about and thus, do not read them.

Although I’ve blogged about that group here and since July, began documenting their actions, I cannot make people read and inform themselves.

Their current targeted victims have been ambushed.

On one blog, the person posted a three-step plan to destroy what they believe to be and have labeled “BGI social justice warriors.” Trying to place a definition on their conspiracy theory is difficult but might be summarized as saying that anyone, regardless of their race, who is on social media and supports justice for minorities, is a “BGI social justice warrior.” The three-step plan to destroy them/us starts with taking their money and silencing them. After posting his step-by-step instructions on how to destroy the lives of BGI social justice warriors, he has now deleted that blog.

If anyone has been notified by Twitter that their account information has been subpoenaed, please conduct a Google search of your Twitter handle and “BGI.” You might be surprised at the results. Take screen shots and make sure that you retain the URL where it is found.

We might very well come to find that every person named in the subpoena has been harassed by a certain group of people long before they took interest in the death of Kendrick Johnson.

About a week ago, Santiago’s accuser boastfully posted on Facebook that the contempt proceeding has cost Santiago $10,000. His accuser has also publicly stated that he plans to file a lawsuit and a lien against Santiago’s condo. Thankfully in California, the clerks do not honor les pendes liens submitted by in pro per litigants without an order of the court. As reported on my other blog, those with sovereign citizen ideologies use the court system to financially harm their victims. Santiago’s accuser has admitted to being a sovereign citizen. Sovereign citizenship has its roots in White Supremacy ideologically.

This is the agenda of the White Supremacists who believe that some people are 14th Amendment citizens and as such, have no right to petition the government for redress of differences. They believe that their proper response is to deprive them of freedom of speech and their assets.

So, this same individual knows the handles in the subpoena when it is not public knowledge, opens his protected Twitter account to the public to tweet to individuals that their account information is being subpoenaed, and that they are going to be sued. Because his tweets included defamation of Santiago in violation of the court’s restraining order, Twitter suspended his account, but not before numerous people took screenshots.

Last year, this same individual boasted about interning for Fresno, California attorney John Gist, and at that same time, began tweeting the personal information of others on Twitter. There is also support that he obtained, or sought to obtain, Santiago’s credit report. Attorney Gist concentrates in bankruptcy, which law requires them to conduct property ownership and credit checks for their clients.

In May of last year, the same person petitioned the California Superior Court of Fresno County for a restraining order, and requested the court to order Santiago to testify to the identity of certain people on Twitter. Some of those same handles are in the current subpoena issued in the Bell’s case. The court denied the accuser’s petition.

Like another individual who was deceived into doxing and harassing people earlier this year, I can’t help but wonder if the Bell’s realize that they are being deceived, not for their benefit, but as participants in a conspiracy to destroy people who have been harassed, defamed, and threatened by the very person who knew that their handles were in the subpoena before they were notified by Twitter?

The Department of Justice must stop this in its tracks.

I wrote this in haste because of the urgency of the situation, so have not included screenshots and URLs. If you are interested in receiving any supporting information, please post a comment of your request.  If you have not commented on this blog previously, your comment will go into moderation.  If you do not want it publicly posted, just say so and I will keep your request in confidence.

Posted on 11/02/2015, in Cases, Cyberharassment and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 38 Comments.

  1. Oh Snap!! Karma, it’s spelled HA HA HA HA HA

    Liked by 3 people

  2. yahtzeebutterfly

    Good thing that the DOJ has filled those two motions.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hey Yahtzee! Yes it is.

      Like

    • yahtzeebutterfly

      Well, the judge denied the DOJ’s motion:

      Valdosta Daily Times ‏@TheVDT 1h1 hour ago
      BREAKING: Superior Court Judge denies DOJ motions to intervene and stay discovery in the $100 million #KendrickJohnson lawsuit.

      Like

  3. WOW! What a mess. This is some serious scary crap to say the least!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. crustyolemothman

    Xena, As you know this article is only the tip of the iceberg!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Honestly, the nut needs his ass kicked! Absolutely out of control . What a mess for your writer.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. scrodriguez

    Xena,

    Very good read here Good job it is my opinion that there is only one way he would know about those accounts being Subpoenaed before the account holders knew. I mean he was tweeting directly to each account that was noticed, in other words his knowledge of the notice was too specific to be a fluke.

    Also in reading this the defamation described here is similar to what also happened to Denise Souriall when they took a docket sheet and ran with it even while that docket sheet clearly stated the case was dismissed. they dont care about wheather or not they are being truthful. their motives are clear their intentions are clear and honestly I do hope the DOJ stops this nonsense from happening. this is clearly an attack designed to silence people this is a violation of their 1st amendment rights.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Santiago,

      this is clearly an attack designed to silence people this is a violation of their 1st amendment rights.

      It’s not simply an act to violate the 1st amendment rights of others. It’s a civil rights violation because the conspirators and/or co-conspirators do it because of their perception on race. Race is their motivation. People who are not minorities might not realize that the culprits term them “white guilt idiots.” In their ideologies, non-minorities who support equality are race traitors. Had people known about and read the blog that laid out the plan on how to destroy the “BGI”, they would know that.

      Remember that in 2012-2013, the same people who are now boasting about people being sued by the Bell’s, attacked Blacks on the internet, and accused others (whose race they do not know) of being Black. Since late 2013, they switched their method to attack non-Blacks, and I personally think they do that because so many non-Blacks think it is mere internet harassment and do not take them seriously.

      Liked by 3 people

      • scrodriguez

        Good job making the connection I mean the question really is how did he become aware days before anybody got noticed and he was tweeting it to those specific accounts I have screen shots saved in the event they are needed

        Liked by 2 people

        • I also question why he is saying that people are being sued by the Bells, when the subpoena was issued in a case that only names the Johnson’s? How does he know what the Bells are doing or going to do, and why are they using discovery in that particular case to conduct a fishing expedition to sue others rather than outright filing suit? I wonder too if the Bell’s like him putting their business out on the internet?

          Liked by 2 people

          • scrodriguez

            Thats another interesting point you make and if what he says about them being sued turns out to be true than this would mean there is a direct connection between the bells and the accuser.

            Like

  7. I can’t imagine what this couple Mr. and Mrs. Lesher, and their coworker went through by actually having to go to court to defend themselves from completely bogus charges which could ruin their lives They deserve the settlement award. I am grateful that they are suing the prosecutor for malicious prosecution. The prosecutor could not have much to work with when she took them to court.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Hey Gronda! The lawsuit for malicious prosecution has not been filed. It’s Texas, and I’m not sure of their laws, but in other states prosecutors are immune from such lawsuits. Those bringing forth the allegation, witnesses for the prosecution if they flat-out lied, and sometimes detectives, are allowed to be sued.

      The Lesher’s endured much agony, and being professional people, must have suffered extensive damages because of the defamation. Since he is a lawyer, he no doubt knew each element to prove and had the evidence to support it. I’m happy for them.

      Liked by 1 person

    • scrodriguez

      I can tell you this from experience; being wrongfully accused of something is stressful in itself then having to fork out expenses to hire an attorney to fend off the nonsense only adds to it. I was wrongfully accused by the person who was out there posting on twitter to people informing them their accounts were subpoenaed. I have been in and out of court with him this entire year and have had 3 different cases involving him last year.

      it’s one thing for someone to lie about you. it’s another for them to lie about you then put it on paper and lie about you to the court and try to use those lies to inflict damages upon you. once I proved my case, rather than him to just back off and take the high road he targeted my wife and her job and began to threaten to cause problems with her employer.

      From there I had no choice but to ask the court for a restraining order but that only paved the way for him to proceed with delay and stalling tactics which eventually were stamped out by the trial court and the order was granted.

      But even then he has not stopped. the man kept doing this to us but at this stage he had a court order against him and he has not given a damn about the court’s order. he simply believes because he filed an appeal he can do what he wants.

      it escalated to the point in which he cherry picked ex parte documents and used those documents as a means to mischaracterize the facts of the case for the purposes of harassment and defamation and to inflict emotion distress, knowing that what he was saying or implying about me was NOT true.

      it got to the point which he reached out to his friend and forwarded court documents he purchased for her to post on her blog of which he is a co contributor to continue. Once I forwarded the court’s order to the hosting company the stuff was removed. this only enraged them as they intend to inflict emotional distress upon their victims they prefer to keep it there.

      But that didn’t stop him. he sought out the assistance of others and it got to the point where I had no choice but to ask the court to make this stop. in doing so he retaliated like no other and the retaliation included threats to “Put my wife’s name and career on blast if I didnt back off” he then carried out that threat and sent this nonsense to my wifes employer.

      Identity theft, he sought the assistance of a stranger who didn’t know anything about me or the case or really about that group and this man went and purchased a domain using my true name which per california law is identity theft and or online impersonation.

      The page created with the domain name was cluttered with my photos pictures of my wife her work profile from the university she teaches at and a ton of records posted of which about 80% were not even me they were grabbing anything that had a name that matched mine and basically making it appear as if I was some mass convicted criminal.

      The morning of our first hearing threats where made to my children, and since filing this back in January he has stalled and delayed this process intentionally for the purposes of inflicting financial harm knowing that each time we have to appear it cost us attorney expenses.

      We have been in court once a month since Feb of 2015 and believe me every single tactic in the book has been played its been frustrating to deal with but I know in the end the evidence will speak for itself.

      His intentions are clear he intends to inflict as much emotional and financial distress as he can possibly muster up even if it means hurting others who have never even bumped into him on social media eg: my wife and children. He has made it very clear if he can not use his extortion tactics to get me to back off of the legal proceedings he will target the ones I love to use that as a means to extort me into backing down.

      Not gonna happen I will protect my family and myself at all cost

      Liked by 3 people

      • Two sides to a story

        It’s a shame that the wheels of karma grind so slowly and that you and your family have had to endure so much, but take comfort in the fact that karma is inexorable. The offender will definitely be hit by a tidal wave of all the stuff he’s set in motion and it looks like it won’t be that much longer. The last laugh will be yours, I’m sure!

        Liked by 2 people

  8. Department of Justice attorney James Bennett said that the federal investigation has expanded into investigating possible obstruction and grand jury witness tampering.

    http://m.valdostadailytimes.com/news/local_news/judge-denies-doj-motions-in-kj-lawsuit/article_98fc532b-057e-55ad-a67f-7b582ebd52c3.html?mode=jqm

    Like

  9. yahtzeebutterfly

    “Prosecutors oppose sequestering Freddie Gray jurors”

    http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/freddie-gray/bs-md-ci-gray-jury-sequester-disagree-20151102-story.html

    Excerpt:

    Prosecutors now accuse defense attorneys of filing the sequester request as a way to force a change of venue.

    “Forcing jurors to stay in a hotel at night for the duration of the trial would create such hardship that entire categories of otherwise qualified citizens would be unable to serve — single parents with children at home, caregivers with elderly or disabled relatives at home, single persons with a pet at home,” prosecutors wrote. “The few people who would remain after [the jury selection process] could hardly be called a fair cross-section of the community.”

    Like

    • Having the jury sequestered in Zimmerman’s trial limited the prosecution, including that they could not put on a rebuttal case. Judge Nelson stated several times that she had a sequestered jury in response to legal counsel wanting to continue. Housing and feeding people on days when there’s no trial is costly.

      Reading what the prosecutors said in what you posted and how it plays on selecting jurors is so true.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. yahtzeebutterfly

    “Defense asks court to block discussion of Freddie Gray’s arrest in first officer’s trial”
    http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/freddie-gray/in-depth/bs-md-ci-gray-filing-20151027-story.html

    Excerpt:

    Defense attorneys for Officer William Porter, the first Baltimore cop scheduled to be tried in the death of Freddie Gray, have asked the court to block prosecutors from discussing the circumstances surrounding Gray’s arrest by other officers.

    Because Porter was not involved in Gray’s arrest and the state does not contend that he was, the attorneys wrote in their latest filing in the case, Judge Barry Williams should “order the preclusion of any and all reference to or argument about Freddie Gray’s initial detention not being supported by reasonable suspicion, Mr. Gray’s arrest not being supported by probable cause, or Mr. Gray’s arrest not being otherwise legally justified.”

    Porter’s attorneys also filed a separate motion asking Williams to block prosecutors from mentioning “any and all testimony and evidence concerning information not personally known” by Porter at the time of his interactions with Gray, which came at later points along Gray’s transport in a police van, where prosecutors say he suffered a severe and ultimately fatal spinal cord injury.

    The filings represent the latest shift in what had been a unified defense among all six officers charged in Gray’s arrest and death toward individual defenses suited to each officer and the portions of Gray’s arrest and transport in which they were involved.

    Like

  11. yahtzeebutterfly

    HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A small-town police officer who fatally shot an unarmed motorist in the back as he lay face down on the ground was acquitted Thursday at her murder trial.

    A Dauphin County jury acquitted Hummelstown Officer Lisa Mearkle of third-degree murder and voluntary and involuntary manslaughter charges in a shooting captured by a camera attached to her stun gun.

    The video, which was played to jurors, showed Mearkle shocking 59-year-old David Kassick after he fled from a traffic stop before shooting him twice in the back as he lay face down in the snow in February.

    Warning…graphic video (just released to public after the verdict) of the shooting:

    (Published Nov. 5, 2015)

    News video:
    “Not Guilty: Jury clears officer who killed unarmed man”

    (Published Nov. 5, 2015)

    Like

    • I’d like to know how anyone can see that video and take her word over what they see with their eyes. I suppose that religious cultists caught on to that human nature a long time ago — that if someone gives the appearance of authority, that they can make you doubt what you see.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. yahtzeebutterfly

    Xena, I meant for the last 3 of my posts to be on your open discussion page. (I am sorry.)

    Like

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