A Georgia woman who was arrested for “criminal defamation” after complaining about her police officer ex-husband on Facebook has been awarded a $100,000 settlement and an apology from the good ole boys who made her life hell for no reason.
In 2015, Anne King wrote a relatively innocuous Facebook post about her ex-husband: “That moment when everyone in your house has the flu and you ask your kid’s dad to get them (not me) more Motrin and Tylenol and he refuses.” When her ex-husband, Washington County, Georgia sheriff’s deputy Corey King complained, she took it down. However, according to court documents, King continued to feel “disrespected” by the memory of the post, so he got his friend Capt. Trey Burgamy to swear an affidavit for his ex-wife’s arrest.
From there, another friend, Magistrate Judge Ralph Todd, told Anne King that she had criminally defamed her ex, barred her from contacting him, threatened to ban her from Facebook, and then sent her to jail, where she had to sit for three hours before paying $1,000 in order to leave.
It turns out, “criminal defamation” has not been a crime since 1982, but Judge Todd did not know that, possibly because he does not have a law degree. Since she had not actually committed a crime, charges against Anne King were dropped in a criminal hearing. King, rightfully, went on to pursue a civil suit against Washington County, the sheriff’s office, Capt. Burgamy and her ex-husband.
In light of the suit, Judge Todd has resigned, though Burgamy and Corey King were allowed to keep their jobs. In addition to the $100k settlement, her judge-ordered apology reads: “We apologize for the pain caused and time wasted including Ms. King being charged and arrested with respect to what was really a personal dispute that should have ended without the involvement of the courts.” National hero Anne King has posted the apology to Facebook.