We had a sheriff witness yesterday that didn’t sh0w up as subpoenaed because he was attending a colleague’s funeral in another county. That prompted my judge to tell me about a fiasco that happened a few years ago between a (semi-local) sheriff and a girl in a situation that escalated to a social war between the government and the public.

A bunch of sheriffs attended a wake after a colleague’s funeral, and they were at a bar afterwards drinking and doing guy stuff. One of these sheriffs started talking to a girl, and the two of them, both drunk, went outside and had sex somewhere. The story’s vague as to whether the sheriff took her somewhere, or they just did it in his car. Anyway, the girl walked away from the car and was understood that she would walk home, and the sheriff drove home to his family. Yes, he was a family man. Shortly after the sheriff left the girl, the girl’s “pimp boyfriend” as my judge called him, not sure if he meant literally, appeared from where he’d been following the two cheaters unbeknownst to them both, and killed the girl. The damning DNA evidence pointed to the sheriff as the killer because he had just been with her, altho the sheriff was never convicted. The public was outraged. There was even a segment on Connie Chung’s news show and there was practically a protest movement that wanted the sheriff canned for the murder of this girl, and the world believed that he was a sick murderer who got away with it scott-free. (Who’s Scott? Where did this saying come from? I guess he was free.) This got carried farther and farther, into wrongful death lawsuits against the Sheriff’s Department, other civil rights actions, and it raged for 3-5 years. Finally, finally, it was somehow proven or discovered that the real murderer is the girl’s boyfriend.

The judge was surprised I don’t know about this fiasco. I’d never heard anything of it before. My very moral, very proper judge is of the viewpoint that when these male scumbuckets get together in a bar, no good comes of it. I feel bad for the sheriff, who altho he deserves to get crap for cheating on his wife (but that’s between them only), did not deserve to be blamed for a girl’s murder and be sued and have all the negative life-altering events that ensued in public. This is also how I feel about Kobe Bryant’s fiasco. He’s an awful person, maybe, and an awful husband, but to have that girl create lawsuit after lawsuit to be paid off, claiming rape, and he lost all those endorsement contracts and had to buy his wife that huge rock and buy her mom that house…is a piece of arse worth THAT much? And what about President Clinton and his indiscretion? He’s an awful husband, but it doesn’t mean he should be IMPEACHED from office due to an affair with an intern. I know, I know, the “technical reason” for the push for impeachment was that he perjured himself on the stand. But still. I think the nation was just angry that he’s not — or at least couldn’t keep up the appearance of — the great leader whom we as a country want to be associated with; he subjected himself to a legal circus that had the entire world laughing at us. And you think the damage stopped at the courthouse steps? No. It’ll never be over. It rages on at home. It rages on in people’s jokes. It rages on in the histories of the country and of the family. A smear forever, perhaps lasting generations.

…for a piece of ass?!

People, people. Weigh the potential damage against the potential pleasure. Be more far-sighted. Prevention is key. Remember Richard Gere and Diane Lane in Unfaithful?

I’m sorry to pound the cheating issue into you guys, my dear readers, but I think it, like smoking, is one of the most preventable and most damaging self-sabotages.