Vladek Filler, a man from Maine, has received $1.8 million in damages after he was wrongly accused of rape by his wife. 12 years ago, Vladek and his wife, Ligia, were going through a nasty divorce, and it looked like Vladek was going to get custody of their kids. Vladek told Ligia that he would take their kids and move to Georgia, and to prevent that from happening, she began to make rape accusations against him.
According to the University of Michigan’s National Registry of Exoneration (NRE), Ligia was angry after Vladek’s decision to take their kids. She “ran into the street from the family home holding one of the boys, yelling that she wanted to kill her husband for molesting and abusing their children and that she feared he would kill their 12-year-old son.”
All of Ligia’s accusations were lies, but Vladek was found guilty of gross sexual assault and a misdemeanor. During the trial, social services reported that there was no evidence of any form of child abuse or sexual assault, but Vladek was still found guilty. Eventually, his lawyers asked for a new trial which landed him in jail for 21 days.
In 2015, Vladek was acquitted and he filed a federal lawsuit against several people who were involved in his wife’s fake claims. One of the defendants was a nurse who had advised his wife to cry during her testimony so she would “seem real.”
The nurse, Linda Gleason, also testified against Vladek at two trials and she was very good friends with Vladek’s ex-wife, Ligia. Thankfully, a senior U.S. district Judge in Maine has now ruled against Gleason, and she must pay Vladek $1.77 million in damages. During his ruling, the Judge said:
“Ms. Gleason did not merely set a ball in motion and watch it roll. She continued to push it, testifying falsely as a witness, adding to her credibility by calling on her professionalism as a nurse. She must have known that he had been wrongfully convicted on two occasions and yet, she never told the truth.”
This story reminds us of the problematic #MeToo and #BelieveSurvivors movements. The justice system in this country is heavily in favor of women, and innocent men like Vladek are sent to prison every time with little or no evidence. Women should not be able to use false rape accusations as weapons to get rid of men they don’t like.