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North Carolina Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company, Inc. v. Cox

Court of Appeals of North Carolina

January 2, 2019

NORTH CAROLINA FARM BUREAU MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
CRYSTAL HAMNER COX, JOSEPH CAIN PICKARD, and JESSICA LITTLEFIELD, Defendants.

          Heard in the Court of Appeals 17 September 2018.

          Appeal by Defendant Jessica Littlefield from orders entered 12 September 2017 by Judge Carl R. Fox in Superior Court, Wake County No. 17 CVS 1819.

          Young Moore and Henderson, P.A., by Walter E. Brock, Jr. and Andrew P. Flynt, for Plaintiff-Appellee.

          Douglas S. Harris for Defendant-Appellant Jessica Littlefield.

          MCGEE, CHIEF JUDGE.

         I. Factual and Procedural Background

         Jessica Littlefield ("Littlefield") appeals from an order entering summary judgment for North Carolina Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company, Inc. ("Farm Bureau") and from an order denying Littlefield's motion pursuant to Rule 60(b) and Rule 55 to set aside entry of default with respect to the other parties named as defendants in this action. We reverse the order granting summary judgment.

         Because summary judgment was granted in favor of Farm Bureau and we are construing an insurance policy, we present the alleged facts that support Littlefield's argument as true, and we present them in the light most favorable to Littlefield. Harleysville Mut. Ins. Co. v. Buzz Off Insect Shield, L.L.C., 364 N.C. 1, 7, 692 S.E.2d 605, 611 (2010); Austin Maint. & Constr., Inc. v. Crowder Constr. Co., 224 N.C.App. 401, 408, 742 S.E.2d 535, 541 (2012). These alleged facts are taken from the pleadings, depositions, and other materials considered by the trial court, and they are presented in great depth and detail due to the unique nature of the present case and appeal. The issues involved in this appeal arise from events that occurred on 11 and 12 June 2013, including a sexual assault of Littlefield by Joseph Cain Pickard ("Pickard") that resulted in Pickard pleading guilty to taking indecent liberties with a child ("the events"). The following, therefore, are solely the alleged facts, and reasonable inferences therefrom, that support Littlefield's argument. Although we present Littlefield's version of the alleged facts as "true," this should not be viewed as an endorsement of these allegations.

         Littlefield was a fifteen year-old girl raised in a religious family with very strict rules who, in June of 2013, lived with her mother Darie Wyatt ("Wyatt") and sisters in Greensboro. Because Littlefield's "mom [was] very religious," Littlefield had led a very sheltered life. Wyatt testified: "I have a policy that my girls don't spend the night away from home. I don't care if they have 10 friends spend the night with them [at my house], but they don't spend the night away from home." Wyatt's rules for Littlefield were: "No boys, no alcohol, no drugs, [no supervising adult could go to sleep] until [Littlefield was] asleep," and she "wasn't allowed to go outside . . . past dusk without an adult." Littlefield had never consumed any alcohol or used any kind of illegal drugs.

         In June 2013, Wyatt needed to help care for a close family friend in Virginia who was dying of cancer.[1] Because Wyatt would not leave Littlefield home alone, she planned to take Littlefield with her as she commuted back and forth to Virginia. A classmate of Littlefield's, C, invited Littlefield to stay with her during this difficult period. C. lived with her mother, Crystal Hamner Cox ("Cox");[2] Cox's husband-C.'s stepfather; and her sister. However, unbeknownst to Littlefield or Wyatt, Pickard, Cox's nearly twenty-one-year-old son, had just been allowed to resume living in Cox's house ("the house" or "Cox's house") after a long period of banishment. Wyatt was familiar with both Cox and C-from Littlefield's school, and because C. had spent the night with Littlefield at Wyatt's home on several occasions. Wyatt spoke with Cox several times on the phone, deliberating whether to allow Littlefield to spend the night away from home without supervision from any adult family member.

         Because Wyatt was strict and protective, she always had long discussions with any adult who might be supervising Littlefield-even for short periods of time during the day-in order to determine if they would abide by her rules. Wyatt was not hesitant to refuse to allow Littlefield to spend time with her friends if Wyatt was not confident her rules would be followed. In Wyatt's conversations with Cox, she thoroughly explained her rules and expectations, and gave Cox "clear examples of what was not permitted." Wyatt testified that Cox assured her "that's no problem. There's no one here. There's no one going to be here, just me, my husband, and the girls. I don't work. It'll be fine." Based upon Cox's repeated assurances, Wyatt finally agreed to permit Littlefield to stay overnight at Cox's house. Specifically, Cox's assurances that Cox would closely supervise Littlefield; that Littlefield would not be allowed to fraternize with any boys, even under Cox's supervision; that there would be no alcohol or drugs consumed around Littlefield; and that Cox would not allow Littlefield to become involved in any kind of inappropriate behavior. Neither Wyatt nor Littlefield knew that Cox had an adult son, much less that he would be sleeping at the house. Littlefield's stay at Cox's home on 11 and 12 June 2013 "was the one and only time [Wyatt] ever let [her] stay at anyone else's house."

         Cox met Wyatt at a parking lot, halfway between Greensboro and Cox's house in Gibsonville, to pick up Littlefield. At this parking lot meeting, Wyatt again discussed, in Littlefield's presence, all Wyatt's rules and expectations. Cox reassured Wyatt that Cox would follow her rules, and that Littlefield would be in a safe and constantly monitored environment. Littlefield testified that, during this conversation, Cox reassured Wyatt that the only other occupants of Cox's house that night would be Cox, Cox's husband, and Cox's daughters-and that Cox would provide close adult supervision throughout the night to make sure there was not any "mischief." Cox assured Wyatt and Littlefield that there would be "no alcohol and no boys, that they were not expecting any visitors, and that they [Cox and her husband] would not be leaving for any purpose." Cox told Wyatt she would be with the girls constantly, and that they "were going to watch Disney movies that night." Cox "said there was never a lot of riffraff in her house. She had two little girls, so she didn't like drama in her house. So we were just going to be relaxing."

         Cox testified that all three of her children, including Pickard, had "special needs," but it is unclear what Pickard's "special needs" were. However, it is clear Pickard had a troubled past. Cox testified Pickard started dating his girlfriend when they were both sixteen, and that Pickard "left home at 16 and [had] not returned."[3]Cox believed Pickard's relationship with his girlfriend to be a source of Pickard's defiant behavior. Cox "didn't see a whole lot of [Pickard] for a long time" after he left her house when he was sixteen. Cox "worried" about Pickard over the years because when she spoke with him on the phone she "could tell that he was drinking." Cox stated that "[b]y this time . . . it kind of became apparent that, you know, he was drinking. And it didn't matter what I did or what I said . . ., he was going to drink." Despite the fact that Cox tried to intervene, "even when the kids were in high school[, ]" she could not control Pickard's drinking problem. Cox agreed that Pickard's drinking was "really far in excess[, ]" and stated "you know, when you have someone drinking at the age that he was, not compliant at all with house rules, . . . it was worrisome. It was worrisome."

         Cox testified that at some point in time before 11 June 2013, "for whatever reason, problems at [his girlfriend's] house, [Pickard] asked if he could come home." Cox let Pickard return home, but would not allow his girlfriend to enter the house. When Pickard did move back home "he wasn't the same. He wasn't the same." Pickard kept drinking, and Cox "tried everything[;]" she tried to reason with him "so many different ways." She told him: "'We can't have this. We can't have this at the house. It's not good for your sisters.'" Finally, Cox made a compromise with Pickard because "compromise is what adults do." Cox told Pickard that his girlfriend could come to the house, but that she had to leave by "'8:30 or when we [Cox and her husband] go to bed.'" Although Cox believed she had compromised to reach a mutually acceptable solution, she testified that "unfortunately, I was the only one giving all the time. So [Pickard's girlfriend was again totally banished from the house, and] had not been allowed really in the house for a year." Pickard was also either banned from sleeping in the house for most of this period, or had voluntarily removed himself, until just before 11 June 2013. Pickard "had been staying with his grandparents, . . . and then . . . there was some argument that required him to leave there" and so he "went back to [Cox's] house and was only there" a few days before 11 June 2013.

         Cox "feared that [Pickard] would drink too much and die..... I was afraid that . . . he gets belligerent towards the wrong person and gets really hurt." At the hearing for Pickard's guilty plea for taking indecent liberties with a child, Pickard, through his attorney, admitted that he was a heavy drinker, and "in certain respects he has a serious alcohol addiction[.]" Pickard's attorney further stated: "I think everybody in his family would concur that things were just spiraling in a very downward direction as far as [Pickard] was concerned in terms of both the substance abuse issues and just the instability that he was finding himself in at that time."

         Cox testified that Pickard's alcohol of choice was "hard liquor such as vodka[.]" She stated that she did not permit him to drink in the house, but she knew that he ignored her and regularly drank when he was staying at her house. Cox would know when Pickard had been drinking "[b]ecause he would become belligerent" "and angry acting[.]" When he was drinking, "[h]e would yell[, ]" and sometimes "he would just kind of get in my face and those types of things." "There was one point he decided he wasn't going to listen to me anymore and shoved past me and slammed the bathroom door like he was a two-year old, . . . those types of things." Pickard would often leave his liquor in his girlfriend's car when the car was parked in front of the house, go out to drink it there, "and com[e] in and act[] belligerent[.]" Cox knew that Pickard had been arrested for possession of marijuana and paraphernalia prior to 11 June 2013.

         When asked if she would expect to be warned if C. was going to spend the night at a house with a twenty-year-old man who had problems with alcohol, belligerence, and abiding by rules, Cox initially demurred. Cox rationalized her failure to inform Wyatt or Littlefield about Pickard's issues by saying that Pickard "was good when he was good. He was really good." She admitted, however, that Pickard was also "bad when he was bad." Cox further rationalized that she anticipated better behavior by Pickard on 11 and 12 June 2013 since he had only just been allowed back in her house, stating: "So, you know, he was trying to be good. And I don't know what happened after I went to bed [on the night of the events], but that situation changed."

         While at Cox's house on 11 June 2013, Littlefield and C. played video games in C.'s bedroom for a while until Cox fixed dinner for the girls. Cox first mentioned Pickard while they were in the kitchen, saying that he was a "troubled child" with a history of "acting out[, ]" who "do[es] bad things." This was when Littlefield learned C. had a brother. Pickard arrived at the house with his girlfriend and some other people while Littlefield was still eating, though initially none of them entered the house. She heard "a lot of noise in the back [yard] and things like that." She could tell that there were a number of people in the back yard, and Cox told Littlefield that "they were out in the back, having a little party" by the fire pit. Pickard came into the house through the back door and had a brief conversation with Cox in the kitchen. According to Littlefield, Cox told Pickard "not to do anything to crazy but to have fun." At approximately 8:30 p.m., Cox announced that she was going to bed, and she and her husband went into their bedroom and locked the door. Littlefield could hear people outside, and heard multiple male voices "hollering and going on" near the fire pit.

         When C. finished eating, she returned to her room to chat with people on her computer, leaving Littlefield alone in the kitchen. At some later time, Pickard came into the kitchen carrying a large clear bottle containing a clear liquid. Littlefield did not know what the liquid was, but Pickard "smelled like alcohol" so she assumed it was vodka. Pickard appeared to be intoxicated and "[h]e looked high. He looked like he was up on something, jittery, wide-eyed." Pickard's eyes were "[v]ery glassy . . . but wide, really jittery like - not just like normal jitters, . . . shaky and like too much energy almost, and very high[, ]" "very, very, very high."

         Pickard sat down next to Littlefield on one of the bar stools at the kitchen counter, and he "smelled like weed." He started talking to Littlefield about his difficult childhood, and told her that "he had weed and how he had a history of cocaine usage, just bragging." Pickard said that "from a young age he really didn't care about school. He would just go out and get really drunk and get really high[, ]" and that when he did so "he'd get in trouble." Pickard told Littlefield that he had been "thrown in the back of a couple of cop cars when he'd go out and act out." Outside, Littlefield could hear "whooping and hollering and listening to music, getting high and drunk[, ]" like "how boys get along, screaming obscenities, acting out, running around." Pickard offered Littlefield some of the clear liquid she believed was vodka, but she declined.

         Littlefield was thirsty, so she started to get up to go to the refrigerator, but Pickard offered her a can of Sprite. Although it was open and not full, she did not want to appear rude so she took "a big gulp." The drink tasted "funny." She did not believe it smelled like alcohol, or tasted "that off[, ] [b]ut . . . it tasted weird[, ]" "like somebody put something in it." Pickard told her maybe it had been open for too long and was "just flat[.]" Littlefield did not drink any more from the Sprite can, but she began to feel strange soon after. Pickard left the kitchen, and Littlefield could hear Pickard and his girlfriend screaming at each other in the front yard. When Littlefield tried to get up and off of the stool, she "went right back down." Littlefield felt certain that Pickard had put something in the can of Sprite. Her "mind was really blank" and when she tried to get off the stool again she "fell off it[.]" She stated I: "kind of like drug myself . . . towards the [back] door because there was cold air out there. And I felt really, really sick." She stated that she "was really dizzy and nauseated," that she "had a hard time moving," that she "felt too hot and like [she] just needed to get some cool air." She further stated that "it was like somebody turned up the lights and started taking flashing pictures[, ]" and all she could see "was bits and pieces."

         There was a laundry room area connecting the kitchen to the back door. As Littlefield was dragging herself toward the back door, she was feeling sick, confused, and frightened, so she "just kept hollering" for help, but nobody came. Littlefield further stated that "[she] got scared" because Pickard and his girlfriend "were screaming." Because nobody came when she yelled for help, Littlefield continued to the back porch and "pulled" herself up by the railing and "leaned over it and tried to breath." She stated: "I was trying to holler for somebody, but my voice was and my mind was kind of going." After reviving herself on the back porch, Littlefield went back inside and drank some water.

         Pickard was arguing with his girlfriend because she wanted to drive home drunk. In response to the continued screaming, which woke a neighbor, C. came out of her room. Littlefield and C. heard Pickard's girlfriend "scream [] because [Pickard] punched her," so they went outside and saw Pickard's girlfriend leaning against her car "holding her face." Littlefield testified that Pickard's girlfriend "hit the side of the car after he hit her, so she was holding her face, lean[ing] against the car." Pickard then threw his girlfriend's car keys into the yard, and C. told Littlefield to go get them. Littlefield went to get the keys, and Pickard "yelled at [them] to get the f_ck back inside." Littlefield picked up the keys, "limped and hobbled" back to the front door, and both she and C. went back inside.

         C. returned to her room, and Littlefield returned to the back porch to both breath cool air, and to get away from the volatile situation in the front yard. The door from the porch to the laundry room was propped open, so Littlefield could see into the house while she was on the porch. While Littlefield was on the porch breathing in the cold air to make herself feel better, Pickard and his girlfriend, still screaming at each other, came back into the house. Pickard had gotten increasingly intoxicated, and was violent. Littlefield testified: "He was punching his girlfriend and screaming. And what just seemed like he was a little erratic at first got to the point to where he was running around and fighting and acting crazy." At some point as she was on the back porch, she was "yelling for help," but "[n]o one came out." Littlefield stated: "[A]t first I was . . . more inside [the laundry room] than outside, and I was looking around. But once they started getting louder, after I yelled, 'Help,' I stepped out more" "onto the porch because I didn't want to be seen." Pickard was using "very obscene language" and, at approximately 2:00 a.m. or 3:00 a.m. on 12 June 2013, he told his girlfriend "to go to the bedroom and wait for him." When asked if she was scared at this time, Littlefield replied: "I was terrified." Her phone was in C.'s bedroom, and Pickard was between her and that bedroom, so Littlefield remained hiding on the porch. Littlefield was still feeling sick and disoriented at this time, and "didn't feel right."

         Littlefield testified: "After [Pickard] told [his girlfriend] to go to sleep, he walked through and came [into the laundry room]. And I was leaning on the outside of the door. And he made some obscene comment about my feet." Littlefield, who was barefoot, testified that Pickard told her that her feet "were really sexy and he wanted to suck on [her] toes." This disgusted her, and she said so. Pickard then used force to rape Littlefield in the laundry room. As Pickard was assaulting her, Littlefield "screamed really loud[, ]" causing Pickard to step back slightly, and Littlefield managed to kick him in his genitals. Pickard fell back against the wall, and Littlefield escaped. As Littlefield went to get her phone from C.'s bedroom, she ran by Cox's bedroom "crying very loudly" and screaming for help. However: "No one did anything[.]" Littlefield did not try knock on Cox's bedroom door for help as she "was scared to tell them or talk to them at first" because she "felt like the family would be mad at me, which I was right. They were. And they would blame me."

         Littlefield ran out of Cox's house and a short distance down the street, "threw [herself] down in a bunch of rocks" in the yard of Cox's next-door neighbor, and called her "boyfriend" who lived in the area, telling him she had been raped. Her boyfriend arrived a few minutes later, on foot, along with another male friend who was staying with him at that time. Littlefield testified: "I was just crying really hysterically," "on the ground, and I was pretty busted up. I was busted up pretty bad because I was slammed into a washer and slammed into a wall and things like that." The two boys physically lifted Littlefield off the ground, where she was "freaking out," and they carried her to the house of an adult female friend ("Molly") who lived nearby. Littlefield did not know Molly, but Molly comforted Littlefield, cleaned her up, and tended to her "bumps and bruises."

         Littlefield did not want anyone to call the police or her mother because she feared that people would blame her and think she was a "whore." R247-48, 238-39 The police were not called at that time, and Littlefield stayed at Molly's house until approximately 4:00 a.m. on 12 June 2013. R249-50 Littlefield told them that she thought she should talk with Cox "and tell her what happened." She expected Cox "would call the cops," but she was worried that if the police were called, "it would just cause a lot of drama and people wouldn't understand." R171 Littlefield returned to Cox's house and "hid" in C.'s room-sitting in the corner on her bed, awake and terrified. When she finally heard Pickard and his girlfriend leave the house, Littlefield went to the kitchen and waited for Cox to wake up.

         Cox eventually came out of her bedroom and started making up the bed in the room where Pickard and his girlfriend had slept. Littlefield joined her, and told her what Pickard had done to her. Littlefield testified she then told Cox "that I had been given something, and that I was attacked [by Pickard]. I was [sexually assaulted], and I was hurt. I had been hurt. I was covered in bruises. I showed her them." "I kept telling her that [Pickard] had hurt me and that . . . something was given to me . . . I couldn't stand right." "I wasn't in my right mind and that he had hurt me, and he had hit me. And details[.]" "I told her everything. I was like, 'All of these things happened.'"

         Littlefield testified that Cox did not show concern or compassion for the sexual assault Littlefield has just endured, stating: "And like I expected, she didn't believe me. [S]he patronized me. Which is the reason why I didn't try to ask anyone else for help, because I knew I would be patronized." Cox told her: "People aren't going to understand.'" Littlefield said: "[Cox] told me that . . . no one would believe me and that he didn't mean it, and that is was just an accident. And patronized me, saying . . . 'people will assume things.'" Cox was "condescending" and said: "People will think bad things [of me, ]" that people would "think something happened that didn't." C. was in the room with Littlefield and Cox during most of this conversation, listening to Cox's response to the fact that her brother had sexually assaulted Littlefield, but did not say anything. Littlefield said that at this time she still felt "really sick to my stomach, and my head hurt really bad. And I was still really dizzy[.]"

         Following this discussion, Cox did nothing to comfort or assist Littlefield, instead acting as if nothing had happened, and attempting to ensure that Littlefield continued to stay at her house instead of returning to Wyatt's house. Littlefield did not know if she was going to have to spend another night at Cox's house, or if Pickard would return. Wyatt testified that she called Littlefield that afternoon, and "something sounded odd about her. She said that she had a stomach ache, and . . . something didn't feel right." Wyatt testified: "[S]o I called [Cox] and said,' I 'm going to come and get [Littlefield] when I leave work this evening." However, Cox's response contained lies to keep Wyatt from taking Littlefield home: "No. Let her stay. We're going to go to the water park tomorrow. She'll be fine. They ate too much sweets, stayed up late last night watching movies. Let her stay another night." Wyatt then called Littlefield again to make sure she was okay and wanted to stay, and Littlefield responded "'[m]om, it's just a stomach ache. Let me stay.' And so I did." Littlefield testified she did not want to have her mother come get her because: "My grandmother was dying. My mom needed to be there[, ]" and explained that neither of her sisters "lived close enough to do anything." Littlefield "sat around the house" and stated that they "were going to watch a movie, and that's when the police came and got me and took me home."

         Apparently, one of the boys who had helped Littlefield after she had been raped told his mother about it, and she called the police. It appears someone also called the Guilford County Department of Social Services ("DSS"), saying that Littlefield had been abandoned. Further, someone other than Pickard told DSS, at some point prior to Pickard's guilty plea, that the sexual contact between Littlefield and Pickard had been consensual. It appears that this report may have originated from Cox's house. The police-and perhaps someone from DSS-arrived at approximately 9:00 p.m. on 12 June 2013, and an officer drove Littlefield back to Wyatt's house. Littlefield refused the suggestion of the police officer that she get a "rape kit" because she was "scared." She did not want her mother or family to know that she "had been penetrated[.]" Wyatt testified that the police officer gave her a brief summary of what had happened, stating that Littlefield had been "sexually violated by [Pickard], [who] I never knew existed. In almost a year [of having known Cox], I had never heard mention of a son, period." Littlefield initially told Wyatt: "You have to believe me, Mom. Nothing happened, and I don't want to go get any test[.]" Wyatt stated that Littlefield "was scared. She didn't want to talk about it. [She said that] she hadn't done anything wrong. She didn't want me to be mad at her. That she just wanted to be . . . left alone."

         Littlefield "refused to talk about it with anyone for a long time." Although she told the police that Pickard had sexually assaulted her in some manner, she did not tell them she had been raped because she was "terrified" "[o]f what people would say at school, what people would think of me, about the fact that [her boyfriend] would probably leave [her.]" When asked about the initial reaction of her sisters when she told them she was sexually assaulted, Littlefield answered: "I told you I come from a religious family. They said I asked for it." Littlefield was also worried that Wyatt wouldn't believe that Pickard had raped her, and would assume any positive results from a rape kit were from Littlefield having had sex with her boyfriend.

         According to Littlefield, Wyatt soon accepted that Littlefield had been sexually assaulted, and arranged therapy for her "when she came to understand that it wasn't my fault." However, Littlefield did not tell Wyatt that the assault had included rape "until about a year" prior to her deposition, which was in January of 2017. Littlefield had no history of any kind of mental or physical ailments prior to the events, and "had perfect grades for most of my life[.]" However, after the events, she showed immediate signs of traumatization, leading to repeated panic attacks, emotional breakdowns, self-harm, and suicide attempts. She started engaging in frequent self-mutilation, including cutting and burning herself-and she attempted suicide five times. Littlefield stated that, following the events, her grades "really slipped. I was lucky to graduate." She required counseling and medication for her diagnoses of PTSD, anxiety disorder, depression, agoraphobia, insomnia, night terrors, and ADHD triggered or exacerbated by her emotional trauma. Littlefield was taken to the emergency room a couple of times because her "mental breakdowns" were so severe. Littlefield became anorexic and bulimic following the events, "lost close to 60 pounds," "and became very, very unhealthy." She testified: "I like chopped a bunch of my hair off and stuff, and I just wanted to stay home and didn't want to go around people. And it took a huge emotional toll on me, mentally and physically."

         Wyatt testified that "right after school started" C. and Cox "had been discussing it [what C. and Cox would have described as false allegations of sexual assault] at school. Subsequently, [in response to what Cox and C. had been telling people at school, Littlefield] was being attacked by other people." Littlefield testified that at school, C. "began to blame me relentlessly. Verbally, mainly just telling people awful things. Saying that I wanted to have sex with her brother and that I said something to put him in jail[.]" Other kids at Littlefield's school, in response to C.'s allegations, also started to bully her and call her names. Someone opened the same website page of an article about Pickard's arrest on every monitor in one of the classrooms. Littlefield testified that "[t]he worst of it came from [Cox] following me in school, coming to all of my things, watching me when I was doing things, coming to school almost every day to stare me down."[4]

         Wyatt spoke to the detective assigned to the case, school counselors, teachers, the principal, and the school board about how Cox, C. and the rest of their family was treating Littlefield. Eventually, Cox and her family were prohibited from interacting with Littlefield directly. C. and Littlefield were also placed in different classes- though C. and her family were not prevented from attending school functions that also included Littlefield. Wyatt testified that the detective assigned to the case "had to get involved" and that "there was a gag order put on all of it" to prevent Cox and her family from discussing the matter. Even after Cox stopped confronting Littlefield directly, because "[s]he would have gotten in legal trouble[, ]" Cox would stare at her and "she would block [Littlefield's] way when [she] was walking."

         Because of the harassment, and Littlefield's increasingly fragile mental state, she was often unable to attend school. Littlefield testified: "I attempted to kill myself from the stress of it all. I couldn't handle it. I was going home three or four times a week early from school, breaking down in tears[, ]" so "at that point my mother pulled me out [of school], and I was on suicide watch. I wasn't allowed to have any doors [on my room]. I wasn't allowed to shower alone. Someone always ha[d] to be in the room, no sharp objects." Wyatt testified that she "had to have [Littlefield] transferred out of the school because she was harassed so badly by [Cox's] daughters." After Littlefield's transfer to another school in the district, things initially went well. However, because her new school was a rival school to her old school, word of the sexual assault soon spread to her new school and the bullying and name calling resumed. As a result of the events, Littlefield ended up transferring two more times before her graduation from high school.

         Littlefield did not want to have to confront the events of that night, so she did not participate in Pickard's criminal prosecution beyond the statement she made on 12 June 2013. She was told that Pickard had signed a statement alleging that he had engaged in "consensual" sex with Littlefield, that he was charged with statutory rape, and that he pled guilty to some lesser offense that allowed him to be released on probation for time served.[5] The fact that Pickard's conviction was based on his claim that Littlefield had "consented" to having sex with him-when in reality Pickard had raped ...


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