Legal Action Against a Sociopath

Reader’s Question

I am pursuing legal action against a sociopath after he beat and nearly killed me, and mutual friends were witness to the act or know about it and witnessed the aftermath… However, this sociopath did his damage manipulating these friends’ perceptions about me. I’ve just been asked by my attorney to make contact with J who witnessed all of if but will no longer respond to me. Psychologically, is there a way I can manipulate her so she responds to my friendship or just leave it to the legal process (I’ve told the lawyer I think it best for her to contact J)? Advice please — J is critical to my case.

Psychologist’s Reply

First of all, in such a legal situation you should follow the advice of your attorney and the prosecutor. You have followed the attorney’s request to contact J and she has not responded. I would not try any form of manipulation, either subtle or obvious, as that can actually contaminate your court case. J may have even been advised not to have contact with you for this reason. Conversations and contacts with witnesses behind the scenes are often viewed as conspiracy and that should be avoided. You’ll need to keep all contacts with J business-like and controlled by your attorney or prosecutor.

There is another issue here however. Witnessing your friend being violently attacked is emotionally traumatizing. This type of witness or secondary trauma may have J concerned for her personal safety. This is another reason for legal authorities to control contacts with her.

Keep in mind that sociopaths are so narcisisstic and grandiose that they always feel they can “out smart” the legal system. That’s why so many of them are incarcerated. The legal system offers minimal opportunity for their level of manipulation. For example, in an assault case such as yours, perceptions about you or lies told by the sociopath are irrelevant. The courtroom isn’t the rumor mill of high school. He can influence a lot of perceptions but those will be irrelevant as well. Sociopaths always develop some elaborate scheme to get themselves off the hook in court. This pretty much assures jail time. When your witnesses are on the stand, for example, they will be asked if the sociopath contacted them, what was said, etc. Remember, the courtroom and law have been dealing with sociopaths for hundreds of years. In fact, I recently worked with a young man who murdered a grandmother in his community. He personally prepared an extensive defense, collected his references and relevant court cases, and was so convinced his case was a sure bet he applied for college, figuring he was so intelligent he might become an attorney. He got 65 years with no parole. College will have to wait awhile. Follow your attorney and prosecuter as well as the legal process.

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