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In My Defense…

west point photos of meI gave an interview to  Tom Jackman from the Washington Post because he promised to be fair.  But that is not what he did.  He misquoted me and my lawyer, didn’t give the most important facts of the case and got many critical facts wrong.  He claimed that I ‘acknowledged’ that I wrote about ‘controversial subjects’ which allowed him to introduce one sentence from an old article about Sandy Hook.  I made no such claim.  I don’t write ‘controversial’ articles; I write relevant articles that address the current news of America.  If some people consider my opinion to be controversial, then that is on them.  I certainly don’t believe my articles are ‘controversial’- I represent at least half the nation in my belief set.   There can only be one reason he introduced that sentence- to condemn me as a fringe, ‘right wing conspiracy nut’.  Is he saying that being a Christian conservative equals being a woman who lies about her rape?  Is that a ‘fair’ tactic?

Furthermore, Mr. Jackman got the facts wrong.  He stated that more of my ‘inflammatory statements’ were produced to the jury and attributed the statement to my attorney.  This is patently false.  First, I didn’t make any ‘inflammatory statements’ and second, none were produced to the jury.  What we told him is that the assassination of my character was allowed for two days while Riggins’ character and reputation was protected 100% by the judge.

I was ‘slut shamed’ for two days and had my character assassinated through lying witnesses.  Even my estranged sister’s lying testimony, which brought up ancient family squabbles, was allowed.  Meanwhile, absolutely none of the many witnesses who knew and saw Riggins during his tenure at West Point were allowed to testify to his behavior at West Point.  One witness came to testify to his hatred of women at West Point, his belief that we didn’t belong there, and his sexual harassment of female soldiers whom he outranked.  Two witnesses came to testify to his aggressive and vocal misogyny (example:  that Riggins walked down the hallways of West Point yelling “Lay the pipe, Gentlemen, lay the pipe!” referring to the method by which men should have sex with women.)  He would do this loudly and aggressively in front of all the cadet soldiers, including females whom he outranked, thus poisoning the workplace atmosphere for them.  One witness came to testify that he had to warn Riggins from continuing his abusive treatment of female soldiers which appeared to be sexually oriented and which Riggins refused to honor.  One witness came to testify to Riggins’ sexual advances made to her during the time he was married.    I believe that these witness testimonies would have shown  a man with no respect for women in general and a special contempt for women in the military.  I believe that if the jury had heard their eye witness testimonies, they might have concluded that Riggins was not a man of stellar character but rather one who would abuse his position to harass women to the extent of potential emotional harm.  None of this was heard by the jurors.

Thus, all the testimony that would label me a whore and a liar were ‘admissible’, but none of the above testimony was considered ‘relevant’ by Judge Ortiz and was forbidden.  Is that fair?  Why didn’t Tom Jackman of the Washington Post mention any of that in his article?  That is what we told him, not that I had ‘inflammatory statements’ that were shown to the jury.

Riggins’ basic claim is that the Army is corrupt; he claims that a soldier’s innocence is irrelevant in the promotion process, that his entire career can be derailed by a mere accusation, even if not proven.   His claim is that the Sec. of the Army ‘didn’t want to expend his political capital’ to back him.  He also claims that he was considered promotable by the generals on the promotion board, but this is false.  The document from that promotion board gives TWO choices to the Sec. of the Army- to promote him now or to not promote him.  But either way, the promotion board insisted that his CID findings and all information should follow him to the President, to the Congress and to any future promotion boards who might evaluate him.  To me, that is extremely telling.   This information would also include that he failed the polygraph test they gave him asking if he raped me.   He provided no evidence that any general thought he was promotable.   Frankly, I think that is an absurd  and unfair assessment of the Army’s promotion process.  The reality is that a soldier is given tight protection through their version of Human Resources.  He was given every chance to redeem himself but quit before the Sec. of the Army even made his ruling.

I have tried to remain silent on this trial and on this case.  I gave Tom Jackman a chance to tell my story and he did a skewed job that attempted to further assassinate my character.  I must respond with facts.  Riggins failed his lie detector test when the Army investigators asked him if he raped me.  He made lame excuses about the sensitive questions that were asked about his sexual life with his wife, but that is nonsense.  That little fact was also not allowed in court but was given to the Sec. of the Army when he made his final decision about Riggins.  But this civilian jury was not able to see that information, nor were they informed (because I couldn’t find an expert witness) of the fact that the Sec. of the Army, Sec. of Defense and the President can take into consideration ‘other reportable information’ when making the final decision on promotions to the general rank.  According to a retired JAG officer from the Air Force (who share the same regulations as the Army), they have the flexibility that the promotion board does not, according the employment rights every soldier has.  I don’t believe the promotion board had the authority to deny him a promotion unless the CID investigation came back ‘guilty’, and that s why they left it to the decision of the Sec. of the Army and higher.  Him failing the polygraph test, while inadmissible in civilian, is admissible to the Sec. of the Army when considering him for such a high ranking position in the Army.   The military leaves open this final judgment call for just this purpose- sometimes an officer can slip through the formal process, protected by his employment rights, but the military needs a final safety valve to prevent the wrong person from becoming a general.  I believe failing the polygraph test would have figured in highly when the Sec. of the Army made his final decision.

Jackson mentions that “one of her own witnesses testified that Shannon did know, and that it was the motivation for her writing her first blog post. Shannon said the witness misunderstood the question, but the information remained unchallenged for the jury to consider.”  I want to post the exact LinkedIn message I sent this friend and which Horvath refused to show her when she was testifying:

Angela key testimony

As you can see by the Linked In comment I sent my roommate, I clearly didn’t know he was being promoted to b.general before I wrote my first article.  Horvath knew this 100% as this was sent to him.  And rather than ask the proper question, he tricked her by asking such a convoluted question about this comment that she answered, ‘yes’, by mistake.  When she realized what she had done, she wanted to be put back up to set the record straight, but it was too late.  The damage had been done.  My attorney never asked trick questions or tried to show people fake photos and get them to identify it as something else.  Horvath won by trickery and low ethical practices in the courtroom, not with FACTS.  THIS is the real fact that he was asking about.  And you can plainly see why he didn’t put it up for the jury to see.

Another witness testimony that was squashed was my second roommate who was also raped at West Point.  She had never told anyone but close friends until that day in court.  When asked why she came all this way to testify, she said, “Because I too was raped at West Point..” and was interrupted by both Horvath and Judge Ortiz.  We weren’t allowed to ask her if she reported it or not.  She hadn’t.  But the Judge considered this to be ‘irrelevant’ information as well.  That is two roommates of mine that were also raped at West Point- all of us the Class of ’87.

Mr. Horvath, Riggins’ attorney continues his lies to the media.  He dares to say that Riggins couldn’t own a car, nor drive one during his junior (cow) year at West Point.  That is a patent lie.  He could both own one and drive it on West Point property.  The only thing he couldn’t do was park one permanently on West Point property (called ‘maintaining’ a vehicle which would require a special sticker & permit.)  The funniest thing about his argument is that he strenuously tried to argue that Riggins could have a car and drive it on West Point property in order to prop up his incredible story of my sexual pounce upon him in said car (during freshman year) but when it came to my story of the rape, suddenly Mr. Horvath wants to say that a junior couldn’t drive a car?  This contradiction was lost on the jury, I suppose.   While Mr. Horvath goes on to say that the steps where I fell down couldn’t be seen from the road, he fails to mention that Riggins didn’t need to see me on the steps.  He could simply have seen me leave Eisenhower Hall, drunk and stumbling, gotten in his car, parked it by the stairs and waited for me.  (When I attempted to say this in court, Judge Ortiz and Horvath both yelled at me and my statement was struck from the record.)  It is the ONLY way home to the barracks and he certainly knew that.  I told this to Tom Jackman but he didn’t bother to mention that either.

Other salient points:

Tom Jackman said I didn’t report my rape to West Point.  Not true.  While I didn’t report it directly after the rape, I did officially report it in 2009 to West Point.  Colonel McMahon took my testimony, recorded it and remembered it clearly because my story touched her deeply.  She even invited me to her retirement party, which was shortly after I reported the event and the person responsible to West Point via her office.  She came to testify to this fact during the trial.  She was not and is not my friend in any capacity.  She came in her professional capacity as the colonel who was responsible for creating the first sexual harassment reporting mechanism for West Point.  When she began to talk about the ‘rape myth’ at West Point in order to testify that almost none of the rapes that took place during my tenure were ever reported, she was cut off by Judge Ortiz and forbidden from giving that information.  It, too, was ‘irrelevant’.   She confirmed that I did report both the event and the identity of the person responsible to her.  I also wrote about my rape in a 2010 WordPress article called, “One Christian’s Journey..  If I reported my rape in 2009 and wrote about it in 2010, then how can Riggins argue that I made up the rape story because I found out he was being promoted in 2013 and for unknown reasons decided to harm a man I hadn’t spoken to (according to him) since 1983 in an ‘amicable breakup?’

Judge Ortiz also made a completely surprising ruling at the beginning of the trial that all but gutted my attorney’s defense strategy.  We had previous rulings from several other judges that did not deny us this line of questioning and suddenly, on the day of my trial, this judge strikes the core of my defense?  How is that fair?  Judge Ortiz threw out the CID’s true findings, allowing Mr. Horvath to continue his false narrative to the jury that the CID didn’t substantiate my rape allegation.  That is an unethical deceit.  The CID findings couldn’t substantiate Riggins’ absurd story about our alleged ‘consensual sex’ in 1983.  They also couldn’t substantiate his claims of innocence for the rape.   The fact of the matter is this:  the CID findings couldn’t deny nor confirm either of our stories and didn’t think that further investigation into the matter would find the necessary facts to determine who was telling the truth.  (they didn’t want to pursue it, in my opinion.)  It did NOT point my story out as being unsubstantiated.  Indeed, on the Sec. of the Army’s letter to the Sec. of Defense, General McHugh referred to the fact that the CID finding couldn’t confirm Riggins’ innocence.  It didn’t refer to me at all.  Mr. Horvath is simply good at ‘parsing words’ to his advantage.  This is just another fact that Mr. Tom Jackman left out of his article.

Once Judge Ortiz threw out the true CID findings, we could not go forward to prove that Riggins lied about them on his promotion board review letter.  He also lied about evidence on his letter that did not exist in the CID findings in the same letter.  He also changed his story significantly in his letter from what he originally testified to during the Army’s investigation, adding alleged actions of mine (like grabbing his testicles on the dance floor during the Halloween party of 1983) which he never before mentioned.  All these lies were easily detected because the CID report was given to the Sec. of the Army along with his letter.  All of these lies, in addition to his lie detector failure would have been taken under consideration by the Sec. of the Army McHugh when he made his final decision about Riggins.

The fact is this:  Riggins has changed his story and has heavily embellished it from the time he first gave a statement to the CID, to the letter he submitted to the promotion board and the Sec. of the Army, to his deposition and then to the jury.  With every telling, Riggins’ story changed.  In his first rendition, he claimed that one of his two roommates was in the back seat of the car while I allegedly pounced on him, leaving him helpless to my aggressive sexual attack in the front seat.  But when neither of his roommates was willing to back his story, he changed it.  He testified in his deposition, when asked how I could possibly have gotten hold of his penis in the car so quickly, he stated that he ‘wasn’t wearing any pants’.  Then, during the jury trial, he stated that he was wearing shorts because he realized how absurd it would be for a grown male soldier to be naked under a sheet at a company sponsored party.  But he has now failed to answer the first question:  how did I jump him so quickly now that he had SHORTS on.  (Amazingly, Judge Ortiz agreed with Riggins’ attorney that this was not a ‘change’ in his story because ‘shorts’ aren’t the same as ‘pants’.  Can you believe that?)  Furthermore, Riggins changed his story completely about how he allegedly drove me home that night.  That’s because we questioned him about the regulations at West Point:  ie, no plebe could park their car overnight at West Point.  So, if he came to the barracks with me, as he claimed to the CID, what did he do with the car?  He changed his story to say that he first drove to his mother’s hotel; she got in the car and then drove us all home.  All of this is documented in the CID report, his deposition statements and the jury statements.  His mother testified to the CID that I ‘never’ came to her home.  However, at the jury trial, she stated that I did come to her home but she never allowed her sweet boy to watch pornography.  (I claimed that Riggins invited me and another creep, Rigoni, to his home to watch movies and relax.  But the two of them played a prank on me, thus ruining one of my only free weekends as a freshman (plebe).  They started a nasty porn flick at a shot that was so close up that I didn’t know what I was seeing.  When I did realize it, I ran from the room and told his mother.  She ignored what was happening and simply invited me to a game of UNO. )  So her testimony changed too.  His sister’s testimony changed too.  In the CID statement, Riggins claimed that his sister was definitely not in the alleged car when he allegedly drove me home.  During the trial, both he and his sister testified that she was in the car.  But both said she never witnessed the alleged sex in the front seat (after all, she was only 14 and wouldn’t that be grotesque?).  Indeed, although Riggins drew a chart on a piece of paper showing where the other two people (one of whom he claimed was his roommate) were in the car, no one could corroborate his fantastic boyhood fantasy that I jumped him so rabidly in the front seat of his mother’s car.    He also testified to the CID that he had nothing to do with me during the second two years I was there.  But when I brought a witness who testified that not only was that a lie, but that he came looking for me and hung around me many times, trying to get my romantic interest, Riggins changed his testimony at the trial, saying he did hang around me for the execution of cadet duties.

Rigoni is a close friend of Riggins and failed to tell the truth about the porn flick on the stand.  I watched him deliver the lie and he squirmed in his seat as he did it.  Shame on him.  Shame on all the people who lied in that trial for Riggins.  I might understand it if I was bringing criminal charges against him- but he is the one bringing charges against me.  And for no reason other than money.  He claims that it isn’t about money, but presented the jury with all kinds of charts outlining all the money he thinks he lost.  I just received a proposal from him outlining a monthly payment plan for me and my husband to pay him for the rest of my life.  Included in his proposal was a threat that if I dared to miss ONE month’s payment, then he would demand the entire amount at once.  But it isn’t about money, right?

Judge Ortiz also allowed Riggins to offer ‘hearsay’ testimony which was consistently and strenuously denied to me or any of my witnesses.  Riggins was allowed to testify that he ‘heard’ he wasn’t going to be promoted and so, quit before the process was over.  This type of hearsay is impossible to counter.  After all, we didn’t have the two generals whom he claimed told him he would not be promoted.  But Judge Ortiz magnanimously allowed this hearsay testimony as well.

I am innocent of all charges laid against me.  Did I quit the case before I went to court?  No.  I believed in my innocence and thought the jury would also believe it.  (I am shocked to my core to hear their verdict.  ) In my opinion, only guilt ridden people quit before the jury is in.

The reality is this:  Riggins quit the Army of his own volition and now wants to blame me.  He claims that he wanted to remain on the ‘promotion list’ when he quit, but would have been kept on the promotion list if he had had the nerve to finish the review board process.  He quit before it was even through.  Either option from the Promotion Review Board allowed him to remain on the promotion list.  He would not have been denied that- according to his employment rights.  He was denied no rights.   He simply needs someone to blame for his cowardice when he quit.  He lacked the confidence to see it through.  Unlike me, who saw my entire process through to the end.

Lastly and most critically, Tom Jackman forgot to mention that we presented the solid evidence that Riggins’ only alibi was a lie and a complete fabrication.  He claimed that I jumped him like a rabid, sex crazed woman and that he drove me home to the barracks during a Halloween party in 1983.  But he could not have done that for several reasons.  First, a freshman was forbidden from driving a car without the owner of the car being present.  Second, it was forbidden for anyone who did drive a car to a beer sponsored party to drink.  (He claimed he had 5 beers and was intoxicated).  Third, I went home with another cadet in the Army’s covered truck that was provided to all cadets for that party.  He and I walked part of the way because the truck driver dropped us off a little early.  We both got a terrible case of poison ivy walking through the trail (probably Ho Chi Min trail, which is rampant with poison oak & ivy) and were teased mercilessly by other cadets for it.  This cadet (now a retired-colonel), freely testified to the fact that I went home on the Army truck with him and that we both got poison ivy.  He testified that it was the Halloween party and that I was wearing an Indian costume.  (Riggins also claimed it was the Halloween party and that I was wearing an Indian costume).  I had a roommate cadet who came to testify (also a retired Army officer now) that she saw both this other male cadet and I coming home to the barracks together.  I had two cadet witnesses (both retired Army officers) to verify that they remembered the poison ivy as well.  How could the jury fail to hear and consider this damning testimony? Tom Jackman forgot to mention any of this in his article as well.  All this testimony proves that Riggins lied in his testimony that we had consensual sex together on that Halloween night in 1983 and that he drove me home.  Riggins also testified that we had dated for four to five weeks but could find no witnesses to corroborate that story.  This includes his roommates who would know just about everything about his activities at West Point.  My roommates also denied ever seeing us together romantically or hearing me speak of Riggins romantically.

p.s.  The ridiculous dialog about ‘free beer’ and my class ring needs to be addressed.  I bought and paid for my ring.  I was forced to return it.  While I didn’t have it in my hot little hands, I had it and it was mine.  It hurt to be notified by West Point when I left that they were refunding my money and cancelling my order.  I had even celebrated the ordering of my Ring with all the other cadets at a special Ring ceremony at West Point before I left.

As to the free beer at West Point, there were quite a few parties at West Point where free beer was served.  Indeed, there are news articles commenting on the vast quantities devoured by sports teams that led to misconduct at West Point.  I don’t remember ever paying for beer at West Point.  However, I seem to be mistaken about the beer served specifically at Eisenhower Hall.  Big deal.  It means nothing.  I’m tired of Horvath’s mantra.  Consider these things resolved.

Concerning my sister’s testimony:  I will never understand how her testimony about our family squabble has any bearing on this trial.  But Judge Ortiz allowed it while striking almost all of my witness testimony- all of which seems highly relevant to me.  Much of the worst of her testimony was stricken, however, and while it did do me some harm, wasn’t the worst.  When my time to testify about her came up, I saw no need to shame or reveal her or my family’s insanity to the court.  While she is happy to bare our family troubles to the world, I am not.  I was asked about what happened to our relationship to which I answered that it began in high school, when a boy spread sexual rumors about her.  She was devastated by the sex scandal that ensued (we all know how it is in high school and that kind of information) and refused to allow me to comfort her or talk to her.  I stated that this was the beginning of her pushing me away.  I never answered what the ‘big break up’ was all about.  I took responsibility for trying to mother her too much and said no more.  Suddenly, after my testimony, Horvath claimed that I lied about what the ‘big break up’ was all about in our relationship and claimed that this gave him the right to read the rest of my sister’s testimony.  Judge Ortiz agreed and more of her lies were read to the court.  And this time, I couldn’t speak to them at all.   Mr. Horvath also implied that I had to be legally forced to give him information about my sister & brother’s phone and addresses.  Not so.  I told him from the start that I didn’t have their phone numbers or addresses as it had been almost 20 years since I had spoken to her.  Ditto for my brother.  While he did submit a motion to compel, it didn’t change the information I gave him.  I still, to this day, have no idea where she lives and what phone number she has.  Ditto for my brother.  I think it has been almost 30 years since I have seen him.  Horvath insinuated that I was trying to cover up their testimony- which I wasn’t.  Their testimony only shows them for who they are.  Unfortunately for me, I didn’t know that more of my sister’s testimony would be allowed, once stricken, or I would have at least given more information about her beforehand during my opportunity to speak.  I’m not a lawyer but that is unfair in my book.

p.s.s.  Lastly I would like to address some of the tactics used by Riggins’ team.  1) Horvath entered an exhibit of an article of mine, called ‘Project Redemption..” during my deposition.  Horvath had asked me if I write in order to ‘gain followers’.  He asked if I ever taught other bloggers ‘how to get lots of followers’.  I said, “No.”  He then presented this exhibit which was supposed to be my article.  I saw the alleged statement of mine that told other bloggers about how to get 1,800 ‘followers’ and was amazed!  I never do this for followers, money or fame.  I was suspicious and checked the article when I got home.  Indeed, WordPress had a rigorous and exceptionally precise revision control process that tracks literally every change you make to an article.  It date and time stamps each change.  It also proved that I had never, ever used the word ‘follower’ as he claimed.  Someone had gone to great lengths to copy my website with my images, my photo, my background and then retyped the entire article to include the damning statement.  It had been falsified and then put into exhibit.  It is there today.  And so is the proof of the falsification.  When I claimed that Horvath’s team falsified an article of mine in court, Horvath, who knew the truth, screamed, “Outrageous! Outrageous!” even though the evidence was presented to him at least a month beforehand.  All I can say is this:  I certainly wouldn’t have condemned myself by changing my article to suit his false narrative, now would I?  Anyone with common sense must make their own conclusions about it.  But Judge Ortiz also struck my comment and refused to allow me to prove my accusation.  This made me look like I just accuse people without foundation.  Nice ruling, huh?

2)  Horvath gave us photocopies of photos of me that were allegedly taken by Riggins at West Point.  He claimed to be a ‘junior photographer’.  (Yet,  he had not one photo of us together as a couple, which he claims happened in ’83).  Not one photo shows me being romantic at all toward him.  They are all as innocent as can be.  And several were taken without my permission or knowledge.  They were taken from behind me or to my side, as if the photographer didn’t want to be seen by me.  To me, those were were most unsettling.  In any case, the photos showed nothing about a relationship between us and frankly, anyone could have given them to him.  (After all, he did ask his fellow cadets from the Class of 87 ‘to call him’ in a private chat room reserved only for West Point grads.)

My attorney and I requested numerous times to see the actual photos and if possible, the negatives of the photos.  Horvath replied that we had ‘everything he had’.  But at the trial, Mr. Horvath pulls out the originals and attempted to substitute the photocopies given to us all these years with the real ones so that they, instead of the photocopies (about which I gave testimony) could be presented to the jury instead.  The underhanded thing about this tactic is that the photocopies we received were severely cropped, showing no details of what room they were taken in (male vs. female, name tags, etc) or what building they were taken in.  Also, the photocopies we received were so dark that I couldn’t identify faces in them and testified to as much.  But the real copies were properly lighted and I could easily see Riggins’ face in them.  Thus, Mr. Horvath wanted to give the real photos instead of the photocopies to the jury and hope they would conclude that I lied about the photos!  In other words, make me look like an absurd liar about inconsequential photos that proved nothing.  Ditto for the place of the events.

Example:  One photo that showed my roommate and I sitting together was so  cropped that the room was impossible to identify.  I said as much but also stated that I believed it was my room.  The reason I gave was because my roommate didn’t like Riggins and I don’t remember her ever going to his room.  The original was blown up to see a much larger photo, complete with a closet that appeared to show male clothing hanging in the closet!  This is the kind of underhanded tactics that I have had to deal with throughout these three years.

Judge Ortiz actually ALLOWED Horvath to present this new evidence, saying it wasn’t ‘new’, even though I never got to evaluate the full contents of the photos.  I had to make a giant stink, in front of the jury, to stop this insidious process.  In the end, the judge allowed me to ‘change my testimony’ about the photos.  Again, how does that make me look?  Why wasn’t the same evidence I was given and asked questions about also given to the jury?  Not fair.

3)  Horvath dared to blurt two horrible falsehoods in court.  While they were struck down, no one could unhear them.  In one blurt, he lied and proclaimed I was banned from my child’s school premises.  An outright lie.  But the jury heard it and I couldn’t speak to it.

4) Horvath also blurted that I had a bad reputation online and around my neighborhood when he was cross examining the two character witnesses I brought from home (my pastor and my next door neighbor).  Again, he was challenged and lost, but it couldn’t be unheard.

By blurting out the lie that I have a bad reputation online, he was not only presenting a baseless falsehood, but also tempted the jury to look online as well.  His team had done an in depth investigation about all my online activities and couldn’t fail to know that there was a fake Short Little Rebel Facebook site that imitated me that was one of the first results that would pop up.  This website defamed me by directly imitating me around the internet, pretending to be me and inflaming other groups on FB by telling them horrible things about homosexuals, Black Americans (whom I fiercely defend), and Arab Americans.  All done with my photo and in my name.  Meanwhile, Horvath must also have known that FB was refusing to show the real Short Little Rebel FB page as I had written about the situation in a full WordPress article.  Thus, anyone looking for ‘short little rebel’ online would see the fake hate site that had defamed me and not the real FB site that is about God, hopefulness and faith.

I love my neighbors and they love me.  I have one neighbor who dislikes me/us because he feels our trees are too high.  We have offered to have them cut at his expense, but he thinks we should pay for it.  Such is life.  We all have disagreements.

This same neighbor participated in the trial by providing a police report that he called in about me.  The police report was a simple form that documented his call, not that I had done a thing wrong.   In fact, the police who came advised me to take out a special restrictive order against this same neighbor after learning how many times this neighbor has made false claims to the city, to my husband’s workplace and to the police.  He certainly didn’t give one ounce of credibility to my neighbor.

Horvath knew all of this but blurted the lies out in court anyway.

5) Horvath took a photo that was NOT in our class yearbook and then presented it to my West Point classmates and asked smoothly, “Okay, do you recognize that as your yearbook photo?” .  Some said, ‘yes’, thinking he had gotten it from the yearbook and that he had a more relevant question to ask.  Who would think an attorney would pull an underhanded trick like that?  It was a photo either from another year’s yearbook or from an entirely different publication.  The point was that it said, “B-1 Barbarians.”  I testified (and so did every one of the ex cadets who came) that B-1 was known as “Boys One”, indicating their pride in pushing out every female cadet before they graduated.   Our real yearbook does not have the word, “Barbarians.”  Indeed, it refers to us as ‘The boys… ” in the paragraph that was directly under the heading.  Yet another underhanded trick of Horvath.

6) Horvath and Riggins are telling the press that my roommate ‘confirmed’ that I knew that Riggins was being promoted to general before I wrote my first article.  They want people to think it was written for some kind of revenge or spite.  Meanwhile, Horvath asked the question in such a tricky way and refused to show my roommate the email to which he referred and she confusedly said, “yes.’  She and I both begged my attorney to put her back on the stand but he felt it would look bad for her to ‘change her testimony. ‘

I would also like to address the tactics of Riggins’ friends during the trial.  When I was walking out of the courtroom once, one of Riggins’ friends aggressively pointed his camera at me and took a picture.  At first, I was confused as I walked away and then thought, “Hey, he just took my photo and wanted me to see him doing it. “  This was right before I was to testify about the actual rape.  I walked politely up to him and asked him if he had taken a photo of me to which he said, “Fuck off.  Get out of here.”  And then his wife or girlfriend dared to jump up and rush at me.  She stopped directly in front of my face and began to stick out her chest and arms and sway aggressively back and forth.  She is about a foot taller than me, so I had to really stretch my neck backward to see into her face without backing up.  I took not one step toward her.  Shocked, I asked her, “Are you going to strike me?”  And she began to laugh hysterically- but without quitting the aggressive stance and swaying.  I finally broke free and told my attorney about this- Riggins friends and his wife quickly put their heads together and began excitedly talking as Horvath walked up to them.  Horvath began yelling that I attacked this woman and started screaming , “Outrageous!  Outrageous!”  in the hallway when my attorney attempted to ask if the man took the photo.  He lied and said he didn’t.  What all of them failed to note were the two security cameras on both sides of the hallway that recorded the entire event.

None of my witnesses, friends or family treated Riggins in this fashion.  None of them attempted to ruin his testimony by rattling him before it.

Culture, Politics
Army CID, featured, military, rape, Riggins, shannon riggins defamation trial, short little rebel, United States Military Academy, USMA, West Point


  1. This is the absolute most miscarriage of justice. Our judicial system is so warped and deficient. I’m truly sorry!

  2. Dear Susan, I am a friend of Mary’s and she shared your story with me. I know you are telling the truth and have been praying for you and your family. When she told me the outcome of the trial, I was sickened and distraught. And angry. I tried following your story and was confused because not one organization that helps women took up this terrible cause. Why?!! Not one congresswoman came for support. Why?!! I just could not understand it. I think that if you were to appeal and speak with some of these organizations, maybe the outcome might be different. This case is too important, your story is too important. I know that this has been an aching, brutal battle for you and your family. I can understand the pain of not having your family support you. I too am Korean American and grew up with a great deal of pressure. Please don’t give up. Because I know that you are a fighter. You deserve to have justice in this world. Please appeal. I’m sure that collectively, we can all find a way. Sherry

    Sent from my iPad


  3. Wow!! Susan I am heartbroken for you and your family! After being involved in a court case years ago (nothing of the magnitude of yours) it is just ridiculous how things can be so twisted and outbid context and you can’t say anything to right them…. continuing to pray for you and your family as you go through all of this! It was good to read more of your take on the case and how it was handled.

  4. Shannon, You were BRAVE to speak out. In 2012, 26,000 soldiers who would not speak out publicly, answered a survey that they had been raped by comrades. Just because they said it didn’t happen doesn’t mean it didn’t. We know rape is high among “comrades. Men get raped there, too.
    Just because the lawsuit said he won $8.4 Million doesn’t mean you have to pay any cash if you don’t have it. It is like getting blood from a turnip. Don’t sweat it. Declare bankruptcy and put your assets in family name or whatever it takes. You will have credit within a year. The entire system is a joke. Everything is upside down and backwards. Even when victims do come forward right away, we know what often happens. They are raped by the system. Shame, self-blame, substance abuse go hand in hand with this and until we find healing and recovery, we suffer in silence. I know the cycle well. I found this article here.

  5. I don’t find the outcome of your trial to be surprising at all, Susan, as our experience with the legal system was much the same. The story presented by the opposing attorney was so full of lies and misrepresentations that it couldn’t be recognized as what had really taken place. The legal system is so corrupt it must be avoided if at all possible. It’s not about truth but manipulation and money. We would be amazed to know what goes on behind the scenes with attorneys& judges.

  6. What’s it matter–who, what, where, why or WHEN?? I guess you’re naive to the operation of the courts of this land; and also believe OJ and Casey Anthony were truly innocent?! This is a clear case where truth could not prevail. Yes, I said could not. I pray for an appeal Susan and truly your time in court–Mano y Mano–not the General vs the “housewife and mother.”Do not give these half-wit, non-informed postets your time.

  7. I’m shocked and saddened that a sitting “Judge” could possibly be so one sided in hearing a case before him. Does your lawyer plan an appeal? (I know that costs even more money…”been there and done that with a big case that I was involved in…we decided we could not appeal because we could not afford to). Praying for you and your family…

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