Chad Lesko of Ohio was walking in a Toledo park when he was approached by a man who told him to leave, accusing him of being a rapist.
“I was walking at Highland Park yesterday, a guy comes up to me and said, ‘You shouldn’t be around here, this is a kids’ area, you’re a rapist,’” Lesko said, according to Toledo News Now Wednesday. “I’m like, ‘Excuse me, no I’m not.’”
These accusations all link back to a Facebook post that has gone viral picturing Lesko and labeling him a child molester.
“This is crazy, I’m scared to even walk down the street now because all of the drama that’s been going on,” he said.
The post originating from an account owned by “Nicole McCarthy” has been shared tens of thousands of times, but Toledo News Now reported police saying Lesko is not wanted on such charges. Lesko believes the account to be a fake created by the mother of his son. He told the Toledo Free Press he believes the woman created a fake account because he couldn’t give her enough money for child support this month and because he had recently broken up with a friend of hers.
Lesko told Toledo News Now he is trying to clear his name of this serious accusation.
Watch the report with Lesko’s side:
The Toledo Free Press received a message from McCarthy’s account, which stated that she believed her post to be true and that she was “sorry for the false accusations.” The account was taken off the social media site shortly after the Free Press received the message.
Aside from the threats Lesko and his mother have received over the false accusations, he told the Free Press it affected him on an emotional level as he was molested by his own father.
“It hit me pretty hard and I’m all like, ‘Why the heck would I follow in my father’s footsteps?’” he said.
Criminal charges could not be brought against the false poster because it is “not illegal to spread a rumor,” Toledo Police Sergeant Joe Heffernan told the Free Press. But it could make “a very good civil case.”