Porters threaten Tina Swithin with a lawsuit

September 11, 2016
Tina Swithin

Tina Swithin

By KAREN VELIE

The parents of a man facing 23 charges related to the sexual abuse of children took the first step toward legal action against their former daughter-in-law Tina Swithin, following Swithin’s public disclosures about her divorce and visitation battles.

On Sept. 7, attorney Dennis Balsamo sent a letter demanding Swithin stop making “slanderous statements” about his clients, Lyle and Margaret Porter, and retract previous comments. Balsamo claims Swithin’s writings and statements have caused the Porters “significant financial harm.”

“On behalf of my clients, who are not public figures, I am stating that you need to immediately cease and desist your defamatory crusade against them,” Balsamo writes. “Should you not stop immediately, I am preparing to draft and file a lawsuit against you.”

Swithin responded by posting a GoFundMe page, which has already raised $8,887 of her $10,000 goal. Donations include $1,000 from actress and model Christie Brinkley who has asked her fans to support Swithin’s “right to free speech.”

Christie Brinkley

Christie Brinkley

“Since my own public battle with a narcissistic personality disorder spouse, I have referred countless women asking me how to survive ‘Divorcing a Narcissist’ to this amazing woman , Tina Swithin,” Brinkley writes on Facebook. “She must be allowed to keep speaking the truth, and providing the assistance that only one who has been thru it can deliver. Please donate whatever you can. When you help Tina, you are helping all women.”

In July, police served a search warrant on the home Jason Robert Porter shares with his parents and found thousands of images and videos that were believed to be child pornography. Investigators have identified at least 17 children and multiple adult women Jason Porter allegedly sexually molested or secretly photographed.

On July 16, Paso Robles Police officers arrested Jason Porter and booked him into the San Luis Obispo County Jail in lieu of $7 million bail.

Also in July, Swithin posted a blog detailing her alleged struggles with the Porter family.

“While I hold my ex-husband, his brother and his father accountable for their evil ways, I find the most fault with their mother who was conscious enough and able to prevent the destruction caused by these men,” Swithin wrote. “Instead, she lied over and over for her family – even under oath when it came time to protect my daughters, her granddaughters.

“Had she not worked so hard to keep the family image perfect and shiny, many lives would have been spared pain and heartache,” Swithin wrote.

Following Jason Porter’s arrest, several families threatened to pull their children from Old Mission School where Margaret Porter was employed as vice principal, sources said.

Jason Robert Porter

Jason Robert Porter

On July 26, Old Mission School in San Luis Obispo announced that Margaret Porter would no longer be employed by the school. Old Mission School is a part of the Monterey Diocese.

In his letter, Balsamo claims Swithin’s writings and public statements were the cause of Margaret Porter’s termination. In addition to demanding Swithin retract previous statements, Balsamo also ordered Swithin to refrain from writing about Lyle or Margaret Porter in the future.

“We extend to you the deadline of Sept. 17 to effectuate the actions and retraction demanded above,” Balsamo says in his letter. “Should you not act or retract and/or continue with your defaming actions, Mr. and Mrs. Porter are prepared to proceed on this matter as allowed by law, and seek fair compensation for your false and injurious acts.”

On Saturday, Swithin launched her GoFundMe page to raise money to pay for legal counsel.

Following is Swithin’s statement on GoFundMe:

“Please help me protect my right to free speech.

“In 2009, I began divorce proceedings and a child custody battle in pro se. It defied logic at every turn — several therapists told me that my ex-husband had high narcissistic or worse, sociopathic traits. In 2011, I began blogging about my journey and my plight received international media attention. I wrote a series of four books, ‘Divorcing a Narcissist,’ to help others who were following in my footsteps. My own battle ended in 2014 when a Judge called my ex a sociopath (twice) and revoked his visitation completely. Until recently, we were enjoying complete peace from this family until June 28, 2016 when my world was turned upside down.

“My ex-brother in-law, Jason Porter (who was a huge part of my custody battle) was arrested for child molestation and I have been told it is the worst case of child sex abuse that SLO County has seen in 15 years. His bail has been set at an unprecedented $7,000,000. Prior to this story breaking, I worked very hard to protect my ex-husband’s identity and the identity of his family in my writings. Their family has now been thrust into the spotlight due to their son’s arrest and now, they want to silence me.

“Today I received a four-page letter from an attorney in San Luis Obispo County requesting that I cease writing about the family. I need to hire an attorney this week. I have been accused of causing my ex-mother-in-law to be terminated from her job and more. I need to defend myself and to defend my freedom of speech. While I represented myself in family court, I am not qualified to represent myself in this legal matter. I do not have the funds to do this on my own. There are many people around the world who have been helped by my work and I fear that being silenced will take away the world-wide platform that I have created.

“All donations will be channeled directly into my upcoming legal fees. Any funds that are unused will go to my 501(c)3 non-profit organization, One Mom’s Battle (OMB) and will be used to send educational packets to family court professionals. I do not receive payment or compensation for my time or work with One Mom’s Battle – and in fact, no one at OMB receives compensation for their work. We are 100 percent volunteer driven.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you. I am not one who normally asks for help — this has brought me out of my comfort zone but I cannot give up my right to freedom of speech. I will continue to speak out about my plight and the individuals who have placed my children in harms way.”


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my.02

According to Balsamo’s letter, Swithin talks too much about Jason’s rage and perversions, Lyle’s inappropriate behaviors and Margaret’s complacency. He also brought Jason’s soon to be ex-wife into the loop but he doesn’t represent her. In fact, it seems he’s trying to win a sympathy vote by connecting the Porters with her. Far as I can tell, Swithin painted her as a victim.

Just truth and Balsamo want to close the door and give the Porter’s some privacy. There’s a problem with that far more recent than any of Swithin’s stories. The problem is Jason kicked in that door. Figuratively as it relates to them as public figures, and LITTERALY! An actual door! Come out dad or I’ll huff and puff style in front of witnesses. The people who were close friends of Jason’s are now connected to victims and they’re angry. They’re talking and sharing emails and information from their former friend including the details of why he went UFC on pops. Most of that touches too close to evidence in the serial molestation case to share here. However, the part relevant to this CCN article and Swithin’s credibility is a recent incident that starts with Lyle’s inappropriate behavior, followed by Jason’s rage and physical violence, and ends with Margaret pulling the silent treatment until everyone pretended it didn’t happen. Sounds like one of Swithin’s stories, except she had nothing to do with it. I suggest the Porters apologize to Swithin.


my.02

Just Truth HURTS – you got your side of the story from the Porters which means you have some serious credibility issues. Huge credibility issues. Interestingly enough, your historical references regarding Swithin happened when she was a Porter which is why she stopped being a Porter and started being herself – an honest, giving, member of this (and the international) community with a strong drive and need for justice. Since she generally helps people on one side of a conflict, those on the other side don’t like her much. Nobody’s perfect. Btw, ask Lyle if the Avila house was the one with an indoor basketball court. Another fine mess one of their sons got them into.


If they wanted peace and quiet, why in the name of God did they use Balsamo as their tool to write a 4 page bully memo on blast? Wrong tool for the job. He just made it worse. Question is, will they consider their point made, or will they push the flashing red button and dedicate their full time, attention, and resources to Swithin and end up on CNN and a Lifetime production in the process. They have other things to worry about.


The grandparents angle was a sweet touch except that they already failed them so MISERABLY! If they push the red button, they’ll end up showing the whole world just how miserably.


Ted Slanders

We can only assume that when the word got out about another molestation case towards innocent young children in a Catholic environment, that a priest wasn’t involved this time, but a school worker. Albeit the school hierarchy breathed a sigh of relief.


Relative to this very unfortunate situation at the Catholic Mission School, please make it safer for the young children that live near a Catholic church in your area by contacting your Congressmen or Senator to bring forth a law that states, in part, that all Catholic churches will be at least 1000 feet from any public grade school, private school, or Day Care Center. This will allow the young children within these schools to at least get a running head start to get away from any pedophile clergy within said Catholic church in your area.


It is the least that one can do for a safer environment for our children that live near a Catholic church. The Catholic church should be the first to sign on to this law because it is time the church starts to look out for the innocent children instead of their pedophile priests in covering up their ungodly actions.


WWJD?


LAH

To “JustTruth”, Due process of LAW? That is a joke right! Where are the abused kids DUE PROCESS of PROTECTION? IF anyone KNEW there was even a slight possibility a child was even probably being abused, you are OBLIGATED to protect that child! And here you are worried about houses and money? Are your for real?

What about the lives of the kids? Their lives are permanently damaged from your son’s sexual abuse. What about the kids and the burden they are now forced to deal with? What about the PORTERS paying for every penny for the abused in lost wages because of depression, low self esteem, damaged relationships, inability of intimacy? How about the Porters pay for all the counseling it’s going to cost these kids over their lifetime?

You lost your job because you said nothing to protect your own grandchildren, so how can anyone trust you would protect another child? This is why, not because Tina had the guts to speak out. GOD Bless her for her bravery. DUE process of LAW? OK! Lets bring all the kids together and pay them for devastating their lives. THAT is the only DUE process that is OWED here!

I am angry you think or “Your Friends the Porters”, think this is about $$ when so many lives have been severely Damaged by the sickening behavior MRS Porter allowed to go on. Shame on you! Nothing is more important than protecting children from such vulgar behavior And pretending ignorance is no excuse!


sloslo

Ah a lawsuit about “hurt feelings” (aka slander). Don’t worry, Tina. Such lawsuits rarely succeed in court.


Just truth

CAUTION….

Tina Swithen is asking for money again just like she did for SLO Sitters and SLO Passport. She swindled people out of their money then and she is doing so now. The only think the Porter’s want is a fair trial for their son.


Tina has constantly written negative and damaging articles about the family. They are the result of her twisted vision of the truth. Remember there are always two sides to the story.


Citizen

Apparently you are a friend of the Porters (who are trying to convince the public that they knew nothing about their son’s mental problems and behavior even though their son lived in their home).


Who do you think is twisted? The family that took trips together to the pedophile capital of the world, Thailand, or the daughter in law who tried to protect her girls from accused pedophile Jason Porter? It seems obvious that Jason Porter himself has proved the daughter in law right.


The Porters, who should be ashamed of enabling their son, instead are on the attack. They are despicable people. The best thing they could do is to move out of Paso Robles; and let the community heal. Instead, they are trying to make bail for their dangerous son and trying to silence the public.


What about the victims? the children? Two sides to the story? Why aren’t the Porters concerned about the abused children? Margaret Porter made a statement to the Tribune about losing her job. Where is the statement from the Porters about the abused children and the damage their “sonny boy” has done in the community?


Just truth

This is not about Jason or the “alleged” victims. It is about due process of law. At the time that Jason was arrested, there were two other men arrested for similar crimes. Are their families scrutinized in the papers? Did their parents loose their source of income because of the twisted truths? Tina has been twisting truths about the family since her divorce. This is not unusual in divorce situations. Tina has chosen to capitalize on it and to make a career out of making his family suffer for supporting her divorced spouse.


If she actually showed both sides of the story she would also post the numerous letters and correspondences from those people that know and support the Porter family. Instead she continues to capitalize on her twisted version of the events that happened.


I guess she is lucky that she is a decent writer; however, they are just asking that it stop so that the family can go on with their lives. She has already pushed them out of their life savings. She has never posted the truths about what happened to the Avila property and how she was instrumental in causing them to loose the home they purchased long before she married into the family.


Just let it stop! I do know the family. I know they are good people trying to deal with a very difficult situation.


SLOBIRD

Just truth… (My guest is Mr/Mrs Porter):This whole situation is extremely sad. But, make no mistake, the children involved are the major concern of this situation. First, bother Mr. Mrs. Porter are professional teachers and administrators. The know the law about inappropriate behaviors. They have grandchildren living in their home, or some that came to visit/stay and it should have been the upmost responsibility to protect all children. Mrs Porter did go to Court involving child custody and lie, that is on record. His bizzard behavior at family gatherings, holidays, celebrations, etc. should have sent red flags to any responsible person much less professional educators.


As a mother of children, who went to Mission Grammar and High School, we have all heard for years about Mr. Porter and issues with your boys. Past graduate students have talked about the Porter Family for years. If you want all this to stop, step back, step out, leave Jason fight his own battle and I suggest you and your family depart and regroup what is left of your life, lifestyle and lies. Maybe moving back to Saudi Arabic or Thailand would be good choices for all of you.


Just truth

You can guess anything you want. This is not anyone related to the Porters. I am just a concerned person who knows more of the circumstances than the average person. I hate reading these twisted truths.


These are good people with good intentions. I will remain here and I will not subject my family to such emotional abuse that Tina has given the Porter family. I am sorry that you think people, like the Porters, that have contributed a great deal of positive and constructive influences to this area should be banned from the area.


I can see why Tina wants them banned from the area. She doesn’t want her children to have the opportunity of finding out for themselves that Nonnie and Poppie are nothing but loving grand parents.


SLOEducator

Very curious contradiction here Just truth. First you state “This is not anyone related to the Porters. I am just a concerned person who knows more….” and yet not two sentences later you write “I will remain here and I will not subject my family to such emotional abuse that Tina has given the Porter family.”


You do realize that calling Margaret and Lyle Porter “Nonnie and Poppie” also outs you as a family member (or very close family friend)?


Citizen

The other two men? Were they charged with 23 counts of abuse? Did they live with their parents? Was a parent a principal at an elementary school. Were the parents prominent educators in the community who tried to start their own Charter school in Paso.


Usually, JUST TRUTH, pedophiles and their enabling family members are not accepted in or welcomed to elementary school settings because pedophiles often harm children.


And this IS about Jason Porter and his “alleged” victims, and about the only person who fought and tried to warn others about the dangers. Margaret Porter lost her job because of the actions of her son, Jason Porter, not because of Tina Swithin. Suing Tina Swithin or Old Mission School will not help Jason Porter in his defense, but would only help Margaret Porter in her effort to deny any knowledge of her son’s dangerous mental status.


You seem to be in denial about the seriousness of the charges against Jason Porter and his alleged victims (pictures found on computer), and more worried about the financial status and reputation of the Porter family. Are you Margaret Porter?


diana68

Just truth: You aren’t fooling anyone but yourself. You are either a member of the Porter family, or someone close to them. Your arguments have no merit. The Porter’s lawsuit has no merit. Speaking the truth is not slander. The Porters are coming across as utterly despicable and delusional people. The charade is over.


Tina

Just Truth (my guess is that this is either Marilyne or Noreen):


I am happy to respond to any thing you’d care to talk about. My ex-husband swindled people and local banks out of 1.6 million dollars– he lived beyond his means and lied about our income to me and everyone else. THIS was the reason our local business failed. My ex-husband stole his parent’s equity from the Avila house and lost the home in business transactions– I am happy to mail you the contract that he signed and forged my name on if you’d like?


The fundraising efforts towards my legal fees are going towards the attorney I retained today — every single penny of it. I am happy to share my accounting with anyone who asks.


You should probably reference the Porter’s attorney’s cease and desist letter so that you can understand the law when it comes to slander and defamation. My defense is the truth but what you are spewing here (about me) is no where close to the truth.


Just truth

The last time I checked, California is a community property state. You shared an office with your husband all of those years you ran SLO Passport. You also shared the house and the lifestyle. It is hard to believe that it he was 100% at fault here.


I also remember that you moved with your husband to another house after he mysteriously signed those papers on your behalf. Then of course, there is the matter of SLO Sitters. You could not blame him for that company loss. I suppose it is his fault that the many workers that worked for you in your name were never paid.


These are just observations. Just a small smattering of what you have already done about the Porter family. This is a public forum. A forum that you have chosen. Perhaps it is time for the your followers to hear the “other side of the story”.


Tina

Marilyne C (Just Truth):


From October of 2008 through March of 2009, the facade my ex-husband built for 8 years crumbled all around us. I was at fault for ignoring the red flags and the lies that were there all along – and for trusting someone who was untrustworthy. During that period of time, we lost our house, our cars, our businesses and our marriage. That was the lifestyle HE wanted and would stop at nothing to get. He took his parent’s equity behind everyone’s back, refinanced our home behind my back and took his younger brother for 90K.


This “perfect storm” has made me who I am today — and I am proud of who I am today. I will own up to any mistakes that I have made in the past. I am NOT perfect and I have never claimed to be. What I do know is that I spent 6 years fighting to protect my children from this family, begging someone in that family to help me do just that and now, my greatest fear has been realized by everyone in our community.


newtimes

So you’re telling me you didn’t KNOW what your husband was doing? How is that possible??? Isn’t that the argument you are saying about the Porters–that they KNEW!!! Isn’t it possible that people put on blinders with people they love, especially their children?

Tina, reread your cease and desist letter….you cannot say whatever you want about private citizens.


saywhat

Tina,

I met your Ex-husband through Passport and I recognized immediately that he was a narcissist and chose not to deal with the company. Through the grapevine I discovered how you were deceived and manipulated by him. I just don’t know how you have survived all that you have.

Please don’t dilute your message by responding to any more of these antagonistic emails. These are not the people you want controlling your life. You don’t have to explain to anyone what happened.

Point your beacon at the people who support you and be a the light that you are.


Just truth

I cannot believe you have made this comment to Tina. She has written four books and used the family names in these books. The cease and desist letter is asking her to stop publicly defaming and slandering this family. They are aware that Jason’s situation is a matter of public knowledge but to consistently attack the family is outrageous.


Now she is trying to put a name to this post so that she can attack someone else personally. You DO NOT know what you are dealing with.


I just wonder why Tina doesn’t write about her own family. Why does she feel so obsessed with her EX-HUSBAND’S FAMILY. All families have different types of situations. To consistently try to push a family out of this area through slanderous statements outrageous.


I guess you should pray Tina does not turn on you.


SLOEducator

Margaret Porter is really delusional if she thinks Tina Swithin is responsible for her losing her position at Mission. Porter need only to look at a recent family photo to see who is responsible for her job loss and having her name dragged through the mud.


Numerous Mission parents were more than a little nervous about sending their child to school with a woman who housed a serious pedophile. Many parents were wondering if he had been on campus to see his mother prior to his arrest, if she had referred him to Mission families (for home repairs), if he had been at fundraisers or events, or if he had in any way had contact with children through her position at Mission.


The fact that Jason had collected thousands of images and hours of video and hurt numerous children while they shared a home (even if she was only there on weekends) and she was either clueless or ignored his behavior makes her (in many people’s eyes) unfit to keep children safe. Either scenario is not pretty and does not foster trust in her as an educator. Keep in mind that Jason’s offenses took place over years–even though she claims to have only been in the house sporadically, it happened under her and Lyle’s roof.


I wonder if the Porters personally contacted each of the parents that wrote a letter or called Mission asking for her resignation/termination to find out exactly *why* they deemed her unfit for her job prior to lawyering up.


LAH

I would LOVE to see this go to trial! Just add up those costs to the Porters, so when Tina wins the case, the Porters are forced to pay (for the destructive actions they feel they are entitled to). Shameful! She LOST her job because her son is a perv. NOT because Tina tells what she and her children have been through. And besides, I believe Tina is telling the truth! NO FALSE witness in this case.


retiredpoliceofficer

If an attorney needs to write a four page cease and desist letter, it’s a bluff. Suing her would be the last thing the parents would want to do, assuming the allegations are true.


Citizen

You’re right. If the Porters sue, then this story will go nation wide and there will be little sympathy for this family.


Ricky2

Wow. The Salem witch trials have begun!