Since one contributor to AVfM recently published a short list of feminists who leveled false allegations about one thing or another and received no punishment or even criticism for it, I thought I’d mention the recent case of Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson of Florida. It seems he and his wife Lolita Carson-Grayson are going through a divorce. They have a couple of kids, so we wouldn’t be surprised to find that Mom alleged domestic violence against Dad. For at least a couple of decades now, prominent family lawyers have been decrying the use of false allegations of abuse to get a leg up in custody battles, so why would it be different here?
And sure enough, that’s just what Ms. Carson-Grayson did, and it didn’t take her long. She filed for divorce earlier this year, and by March 1st, was claiming the Congressman had gone to her house and pushed her against the door causing her to fall. Gilding the lily, she went to an emergency room the next day claiming injuries.
Her main point was to gain an advantage in the custody battle and, like clockwork, a judge issued a restraining order against Grayson and gave temporary custody of the children to his wife. Easy.
But it looks like Ms. Carson-Grayson could use a bit of instruction from the domestic violence industry. Her complaint was never going to convince anyone because the congressman went to her house on the day in question with an aide. He did so precisely because he figured his wife would get up to something like this and he wanted a witness. Into the bargain, the aide video-recorded the whole thing and – guess what! – it showed exactly what Grayson has said all along – that his wife was the aggressor and he did nothing but retreat from her physical abuse. (Always Be Recording.)
Armed with the video evidence and the testimony of at least three eyewitnesses, the police refused to pursue charges against Grayson and the family court quashed the restraining order.
So, all’s well that ends well, right?
Hmm, not quite. What’s most remarkable about the otherwise unremarkable affair is that it’s over. Here’s one article from the Miami Herald that purports to wrap things up. Congressman Grayson’s office released this statement:
“Ms. Carson-Grayson has apparently dropped the petition for injunction that she levied against the Congressman last week, and will no longer pursue a restraining order against him. Ms. Carson-Grayson’s complaint was voluntarily dismissed today.
“While this is certainly positive news, we want to emphasize that these baseless charges should never have been brought in the first place. Two eyewitness accounts, video evidence, a thorough police investigation, and Ms. Carson-Grayson’s own 911 call confirmed the Congressman’s innocence – and that Ms. Carson-Grayson was, in fact, the aggressor.
“For the sake of the all parties involved, we sincerely hope that this concludes Ms. Carson-Grayson’s efforts to misrepresent and exploit the family’s private affairs.
It looks like someone’s forgetting something. The police and prosecutors are forgetting they have incontrovertible proof that Lolita Carson-Grayson committed at least a couple of crimes. First, she assaulted her husband and then she filed a false police report claiming he’d attacked her. Do prosecutors have probable cause to charge her? You bet they do. Indeed, I’d say they’ve got proof beyond a reasonable doubt. It’s now almost four weeks since they’ve known to a certainty that she was guilty, but no charges against her have been filed and no one appears likely to do so.
For the Herald’s part, the entire tone of their article is that, if he’s not guilty then no one is, despite slam-dunk proof to the contrary. It, like police and prosecutors, is happy to overlook the obvious.
In short, for Lolita Carson-Grayson, hers was a free shot. If it had worked, she’d be all but certain to get sole custody of the kids. In the event, her ruse failed, but she’ll suffer no adverse consequences.
Do I have to add that no one in the domestic violence industry has come forward in this high-profile case to decry the use of false allegations? I thought not. Where are the DV activists who excoriate Carson-Grayson for making it harder for true victims of violence to be believed? Nowhere in sight. For that matter, where are the sages of the DV industry, like VP Joe Biden, a member of Grayson’s political party, who point out that women are just as likely as men to commit intimate partner violence? Unseen and unheard.
Of course Congressman Grayson could be one of those himself. After all, he voted for the renewal of the Violence Against Women Act that’s done as much as anything to promote exactly what’s going on in his case. He personally voted to fund an industry that did its best to destroy not only his family, but his career in public office. He was very nearly hoist with his own petard. Will he learn his lesson? Will he think twice before next uttering the pithy phrase “War on Women?” Why do I doubt it?
The criminal case against Grayson is dead, as is the restraining order, but the divorce and custody case is still very much alive. Carson-Grayson lodged a false allegation of abuse against her husband. As such, she’s proven herself willing to use any means necessary to come between the children and their father. That looks very much like parental alienation. Will the family court take notice and give custody to him? After all, there’s nothing to indicate he’s unfit to care for them. So, faced with one parent bent on alienating the children from their father and the other with a clean parental record, whom will the court choose?
Plus, the anti-dad crowd has put much time and effort into the notion that children who observe their parents engaging in domestic violence are harmed thereby. When Carson-Grayson attacked her husband, their two children were playing in the yard. They saw the whole thing. Will the court take notice and give custody to Dad along with the concomitant order that Mom pay child support? I won’t hold my breath.
All of which is to say a single thing – that in this case, there have been and will be several opportunities for the legal system to instruct Lolita Carson-Grayson that her actions will not be tolerated, that there are consequences to lying, physical abuse and parental alienation, but that system has taken none of those opportunities, and likely will not. And that means the same will happen again. And again, and again, and again, in countless families across the country and the world. As long as mothers are told in no uncertain terms that such behavior is at least tolerated and usually encouraged, why wouldn’t it?
Hey, what’s a mother to do?