As a former prosecutor and, currently, as an Augusta, Georgia criminal defense attorney, I have learned that there are some basic, common sense rules we all should follow, as citizens. For instance, it should go without saying that one of the first actions a crime victim, (or family member), should take is to contact law enforcement and report the crime. In addition, generally, you should never attempt to take the law into your own hands. Also, as a rule, you should never attempt to "settle up" with the alleged criminal. Finally, you should never, ever attempt to extort money from the accused, in exchange for not reporting the crime to the police. Put more simply, this final rule illustrates the old adage that two wrongs never make a right! If you don't believe it, then please listen to what just happened to a Morgan County, Georgia woman when she failed to follow the rules.
According to various news reports, a Morgan County woman has been charged today with theft by extortion, in connection with money payments which she allegedly demanded from a Morgan County middle school teacher who had allegedly sexually abused a child for whom she is the guardian. In other words, according to a G.B.I. agent, the child's guardian essentially "settled up" with the teacher concerning the alleged child abuse, by demanding money in exchange for not notifying the authorities. Of course, both parties are presumed innocent and entitled to their respective days in court.
What do you think about this "alleged" sordid mess? Just look at all the trouble you can get into by violating the rules! Can you imagine any parent accepting money for not reporting the abuse of their child? Something may not make sense about this news report! But it always makes sense that two wrongs never make a right!