False Child Molestation Charges Lead to Millions in Punitive Damages

A slander suit was brought after a man was wrongfully accused of being a child molester. Plaintiff Matthew McAlhaney was arrested in March of 2004 and charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct and aggravated assault. The allegations were that Mr. McAlhaney had molested the four year old grandson of the defendants.

At the time of the incident, the plaintiff was dating the child’s mother, who was reportedly involved in a custody dispute with the defendant Richard McElveen. The plaintiff alleged defendants slandered him when they falsely accused him of sexually assaulting the child.

The case was settled for $6,591,000 from the Defendant Richard McElveen, Sr. $91,000 were in actual damages and $6,500,000 in punitive damages.

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