Jury awards retired colonel $8.4M in case against Everett blogger

FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) — A Virginia jury has awarded a retired Army colonel $8.4 million in a defamation case against a blogger who accused him of raping her more than 30 years ago, while they were cadets at West Point.

The Washington Post reported Friday that Susan Shannon of Everett, Washington, made the allegations against Col. David "Wil" Riggins on her blog in 2013.

An Army investigation couldn't "prove or disprove" Shannon's allegations. The Fairfax County jury sided with Riggins, ordering Shannon to pay $3.4 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages. Attorneys said that under Virginia law, the actual damages will likely be limited to $2.3 million.

Shannon says she's devastated. Her attorney plans an appeal.

Riggins says the jury took the right steps toward restoring his life.

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