Two attorneys have been criminally charged in novel cases charging theft of coercions and deception after Mary S. Roberts had affairs with men who were later allegedly shook down by her husband for hush money.
In the San Antonio, Mary Roberts is standing trial for allegedly using the affairs with four lovers, Geoffrey Ferguson, Reagan Saka, Paul Fitzgerald and Steve Reibel, to extract money for a new house and other items. Accordingly to the prosecution, they claimed the money was for charity but witnesses stated that Ted H. Roberts identified the charity as “his favorite charity – me.”
After Mary had trysts with the men, they found themselves confronted by an irate and threatening Ted, who threatened legal action and to expose their affairs to their families. Fergusan revealed one e-mail where Ted threatened that he would “turn you over and tease your quivering bottom.”
Ted used emails from Mary to taunt the men and Fergusan alone paid $30,000 to Ted.
Mary’s lawyers are claiming that she was merely a forgotten and unloved spouse who was looking for companions. The problem is that the money seems to have been used to buy a new home. While Ted told others that this had become a mere marriage of convenience with no intimacy, it appears that it was still something of a profit-making enterprise according to the criminal complaint.
One interesting question is the ability of these men to sue in tort to recover the money and to sue for such things as public disclosure of private facts, intrusion upon seclusion, misrepresentation, fraud, and even intentional infliction of emotional distress. The problem is that jurors are unlikely to look favorably upon the plaintiffs. Moreover, the prosecution must still prove that Mary was a willing participant who was motivated by money rather than the affairs. Intent is everything in this case and, like many such cases involving secret relationships, the motivations of all parties tend to be suspect.
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