This morning I received a phone call from a deputy at the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office. I have the utmost respect for them, and would even if I hadn’t worked there. The deputy asked me about what was going on with me and Steven J Monteforte (because he had called them) and I told her. Everything. Told her I was blogging everything and she said since I wasn’t threatening him (which I’m not, of course) I am within my rights.
I’m in complete agreement, of course. I didn’t jump blindly into this. I mentioned this would be a civil suit if anything and she agreed. She wondered why he would call the Sheriffs. I said “to scare me,” which isn’t likely, but in case anybody thought this really was in their purview, “Defamation is not a crime, but it is a “tort” (a civil wrong, rather than a criminal wrong).”
This means that Steven would need to sue me himself (or with a lawyer). “Take me to court.” Totally within his rights. However, the law is 100% on my side here. Again, had he bothered to learn anything about me, he would have trolled somebody else.
So, in order to prove a Defamation case, you need to prove ALL 5 of the following. Not just one… all 5. I’m going to make these incredibly simple. While I love the law, I know most people roll their eyes and tune out with long complicated run-on sentences. So, this will be in layman’s nomenclature. (I just love that word, I couldn’t help myself.
1- Something is said about somebody else, either out loud or in writing. CHECK
2- A third party heard it or read it. CHECK
3- It has to be false……… no check mark there.
4-The statement must be injurious. This one is questionable. It would be hard to prove even if true.
5- It has to be unprivileged. Basically, this means that the statement must not be made in a privileged situation (like court). This one is tough to explain, but it is a check mark.
But that pesky #3. It has to be false.
I stand by every word I’ve posted. And I will continue to do so. Even if I find myself standing alone, I’ll continue.
I had no expectation that my little blog was reaching anybody. It was a surprise to learn that it had and that somebody appreciated what I wrote. That they found some strength and empowerment and a voice through my own.
As a writer, this is the greatest compliment I could have asked for. I started the blog for just me. To get my thoughts out. To exorcise my nagging gut feeling and express my thought; I thought to just a few strangers. But one of those strangers was pretty involved in my story.
Then I decided the blog was meeting two new needs- to push Steven to get some help (counseling, therapy, medication… whatever he needs), and also to warn women who have been or will be targeted by him, (I can’t reach every one, but I can do this), I now have a third purpose. To give a voice to others. I NEVER in my life would have thought I’d be a victim’s advocate. But I know this is touching not just his victims but victims of other predators who are feeling stupid and questioning their own worth.
I got away pretty easily. Others have not been so lucky. And unfortunately Steven is not the only *predator out there.
Listen to your gut.
Google the person.
Are you already involved?
Question why you never go out in public?
Check pubic records as to when the divorce was finalized.
Question that they are talking about being in love… on the second ‘date’.
Question, question, question.
Trust your gut.
*predator= A sexual predator is a person seen as obtaining or trying to obtain sexual contact with another person in a metaphorically “predatory” or abusive manner. Analogous to how a predator hunts down its prey, so the sexual predator is thought to “hunt” for his or her sex partners. Wiki
If you wish to read the whole story in order, now with updates (edited to add), on my experience with Steven Monteforte (AKA Steven Joseph, as this blog has put a crimp in his game. And he has a different job now… Piedmont Ambulance and Keystone Ambulance. And this is his new facebook page)
Post 13 Steven Monteforte brief update.