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Sokolove v. Marenberg

Superior Court of Delaware, Sussex

December 5, 2013

Evan Warren Sokolove
v.
Roxane Sokolove Marenberg.

Date Submitted: November 15, 2013

Dear Counsel:

Before the Court is Defendant Roxane Sokolove Marenberg's ("Roxane's") Motion to Dismiss in an action for personal injury filed by her natural son, Evan Warren Sokolove ("Evan"). For the reasons that follow, Roxane's Motion is DENIED in part, and GRANTED in part, with further consideration to be given in this matter after submissions of supplemental memoranda consistent with this opinion.

Facts and Procedural Background

For purposes of ruling upon a Motion to Dismiss, this Court looks to the plaintiff's complaint and accepts all well-pleaded factual allegations as true.[1] The following facts are taken from Evan's Amended Complaint.

Evan was born on September 11, 1992 to Roxane and Robert Sokolove. Evan is currently twenty-one-years old, engaged to be married, and resides in Baltimore, Maryland. Roxane, a former Assistant United States Attorney, also resides in Baltimore, Maryland. She is currently remarried to a man that she met during the events surrounding this case. Robert moved away from the family in 1999 and remarried, but retained a relationship with Evan during the relevant time period.

According to Evan, Roxanne sexually abused him from the ages of six to fourteen. Evan alleged that the first instances occurred when Evan was six years old at the Sokoloves' home in Potomic, Maryland. He claims that during that time, he and his mother began to spend "special nights" together in bed.[2] Evan alleges that these encounters began with Evan feeling pressure on his genitals during sleep and then escalated to Evan's orally stimulating his mother's breasts at her command. The frequency of these encounters began to escalate as well. Also during this time, Roxane supposedly instructed Evan not to divulge their activities.

In 2000, the two moved to a hotel in Gaithersburg, Maryland, [3] where the nightly visits increased further in frequency and intensity. Evan claims that he began orally touching his mother's genitalia at her bidding, and eventually, his mother performed oral sex on him and "the two engag[ed] in genital-to-genital contact."[4]Roxane also allegedly showed Evan pornographic materials, including a DVD which the two acted out. It was during this time that Roxane met her present husband.

Evan and Roxane then moved to Baltimore, where Evan avers that the encounters continued. He also claims that Roxane continued to instruct him not to divulge their activities, gave him a credit card to confirm his silence, and threatened him that no one would believe him if he told and that therefore, if he did tell, he would be subject to criminal prosecution, which Evan claims Roxane illustrated on one instance when she allegedly placed[5] him in a holding cell while giving him a tour of an empty courthouse. Also during this time, Evan claims that his mother informed him that when he attended college, the two "would get a room together off of campus and sleep together 'every night.'"[6]

Evan avers that his mother committed similar acts against him while on trips to London, England in 2002 or 2003, Roxane's vacation home in Florida in 2005, Utah in 2005, and New York in 2006. Also in 2005, Roxane took an executive level job in California, where she maintained an apartment. In the summer of 2006, Evan states that he spent time with Roxane there, where he claims that the abuse and threats continued.

In 2005, Evan began to spend time with his father, Robert, at Robert's vacation home in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Evan alleges that during these visits, Roxane would reserve a hotel room in Rehoboth, and Evan would, on occasion, spend the evenings with her, where the abuse continued.

In 2007, Evan lived with Robert and his wife in Rehoboth. According to the complaint, during the Fourth of July holiday of that summer, Roxane and her mother traveled to Rehoboth and reserved a hotel room. Evan stayed with them as well. Evan alleges that on more than one occasion during that trip, after Roxane's mother had fallen asleep, Roxane came into Evan's bed and the two engaged in sexual intercourse.

Evan states that he disclosed his mother's abuse to his father on July 16, 2007, and thereafter asked his mother to leave him alone.[7] Subsequently, Roxane allegedly began a series of harassing behavior ranging from incessant phone calls to following Evan and his fiancee on a trip to Mexico. Evan also avers that Roxane began to contact people outside of their circle, such as Evan's future in-laws, to convince them of the falsity of Evan's claims against her and to plea for their help in reuniting her with her son.[8]

Based on Roxane's alleged abuse, Evan avers eight separate counts against his mother: sexual assault and battery of a minor, intentional infliction of emotional harm through sexual abuse of a minor, negligent infliction of emotional harm through sexual abuse of a minor, reckless infliction of emotional harm through sexual abuse of a minor, false imprisonment for purposes of sexual abuse of a minor, breach of parental/fiduciary duty, action for personal injuries pursuant to 18 U.S.C.§ 2255, [9] and egregious conduct. Evan claims that his mother's alleged abuse has caused him to suffer emotionally, psychologically, and physically, such as instances when, immediately following the abuse, he ...


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