NORTH CAROLINA FARM BUREAU MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY, INC., Plaintiff,
CRYSTAL HAMNER COX, JOSEPH CAIN PICKARD, and JESSICA LITTLEFIELD, Defendants.
in the Court of Appeals 17 September 2018.
by Defendant Jessica Littlefield from orders entered 12
September 2017 by Judge Carl R. Fox in Superior Court, Wake
County No. 17 CVS 1819.
Moore and Henderson, P.A., by Walter E. Brock, Jr. and Andrew
P. Flynt, for Plaintiff-Appellee.
Douglas S. Harris for Defendant-Appellant Jessica
Factual and Procedural Background
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.
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.
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.
2013, Wyatt needed to help care for a close family friend in
Virginia who was dying of cancer. 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"); 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.
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."
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
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."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."
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
"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."
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
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
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.
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."
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.
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."
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.
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.
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
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."
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."
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.
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
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[.]"
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."
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
"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.
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
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
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."
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.
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. 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 ...