PARKERSBURG -– Three Mid-Ohio Valley residents allege recent comments posted about them on two popular social networking sites were anything but social.
Craig Lucas and his wife Michelle and Joseph Hussell filed two separate and unrelated defamation suits in Wood and Jackson Circuit courts on Nov. 4. In their respective suits, the Lucases allege another Wood County couple made unflattering comments about them on Facebook, and Hussell alleges the mother of this daughter falsely accused him on both Facebook and MySpace of not only molesting their daughter, but also some of his minor female relatives.
The Lucases, residents of Washington, accuse Loretta and Charlie Joy, residents of Rockport, of posting erroneous information to their friends' Facebook pages. The comments were posted on at least two separate occasions -- Sept. 6 and Oct. 31.
Among the comments the Joys allegedly made was that Michelle was "a Nude Dancer at an Adult Entertainment facility" and had "abandoned her minor child and ... is a terrible Mother," both Craig and Michelle "have had sexual relations with persons of other race [sic]" and their "biological mothers are bitches" and Craig "does not pay bills" and "unlawfully stole a website." Though they fail to provide specifics, the Lucases allege the comments were made in relation to a business deal as the Joys also accused Craig of "ow[ing] every one of the landowner's money that he has held racing events at" and he "did not honor and fulfill his contract with Timothy Wood."
A week before the second round of comments, the Lucases allege they demanded the Joys retract their comments. According to the suit, the Joys have "failed and refused" the Lucas' request.
In his suit, Hussell, a Cottageville resident, alleges he was falsely accused of criminal activity by his ex-girlfriend, Spring Hill, the mother of their daughter, Alayna. Hill on three successive days posted comments that Hussell either molested Alayna or raped his niece and another girl named Taylor.
According to his suit, Hussell alleges Hill posted her first comment about him on Facebook on Aug. 29. It read " 'Beware [sic] dont [sic] let your children around Joey [sic] He is a pedofile [sic] and will rape them like he did his niece and taylor [sic]. and [sic] then when he is done he will rape u!!!'"
The next day, Hill wrote "joey [sic] is a piece of f--king piece of sh-- and his never going to see his daughter again!!! he [sic] is [sic] stated a a [sic] child molester and the only reason he wants Alayna back is so he can rape her to [sic]." Then, on Sept. 1, Hussell alleges Hill posted a similar comment adding "I hope he burns in hell [sic] for what he did."
Later that day, Hussell alleges Hill posted a comment on his MySpace page identical to the Aug. 29 comment made on Facebook accusing him of molesting Alayna, and raping this niece and Taylor. Records are unclear as the niece's identity or how Taylor may be related him.
A search of court records shows Hussell is not under indictment for or has ever been convicted of any sexual-related crime.
In their suit, the Lucases seek $63,515 in compensatory, and $10,000 in punitive damages, court costs and a court order prohibiting the Joys from posting any more comments about them. They allege the comments the Joys made about them caused not only great injury to their reputation, but also to that of their son, Cayden
Along with unspecified damages, Hussell seeks a court order deferring any child support payments until he can re-establish his income. He alleges the comments Hill made about him have created an undue physical and mental hardship due to the "loss of his job and income."
Hussell does not specify where he was working prior to the comments Hill made about him.
Both the Lucases, and Hussell filed their suits pro se. The cases are respectively assigned to Wood Circuit Judge J.D. Beane, and Jackson Circuit Judge Thomas C. Evans III.
Wood Circuit Court, case number 10-C-483; Jackson Circuit Court, case number 10-C-166