EDITOR'S NOTE: All Apologies

EDITOR’S NOTE: All Apologies

On August 27th of this year, I traveled to Loudoun County to meetup with a colleague I had done some projects with online. I almost stopped myself from going, several times. Now, of course, I wish I had. At the time, though, I had no knowledge that this visit would change my life in some drastic ways.

Hindsight is 20/20, as they say.

I got drunk and had a dispute with the individual I met up with. That’s about the last thing I remember from the evening. At some point, I made my way down to the lobby of the hotel, fell asleep, and was awakened by Loudoun County Sheriff’s Deputies. I do not recall what happened or even being woken up at all. The next thing that I can clearly bring to my mind is the moment when I was in the Loudoun Adult Detention Center being told by one of the officers who arrested me that I was charged with two felonies. That’s not one of my fondest memories, but it is very memorable nonetheless.

I eventually was released on bail, right after I made headlines across the country for this regrettable situation. Over the last few months, the case has wound its way through the courts. In fact, it’s still winding its way through the courts. However, I hit a certain milestone today that has brought me to the point where I needed to address the issue in detail for the first time. The impetus for this post? In short, I have signed a plea agreement with the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The terms of the agreement are as follows: All charges have been dropped against me except one felony count of assaulting a law enforcement officer, which I have agreed to plead guilty to. I was hopeful that I could get that down to a misdemeanor, but given my actions that night it was not possible. As I said, I don’t remember what happened at all, but that doesn’t absolve me of anything. I put myself in that situation by getting incredibly drunk. Deputies Chavez and Lotz were just doing their jobs and I hold no ill will whatsoever against either of those gentlemen. The responsibility for everything that happened lies completely with me. I apologize to both those men and I am very thankful that no one was hurt, myself included. It would have been easy for Deputy Chavez to harm me severely, but he did not. He was professional and took me into custody with as little force as possible.

The law being what it is in Virginia, my guilty plea on this charge means I will be spending a minimum of 6 months in jail. I’m not going yet, as I said. There’s still court procedures and such. Still, I will likely be in custody before May, at the latest. Jail sucks and this is an outcome I have worked to avoid. But that’s how things work and I have no one to blame but myself. I will serve whatever time is given to me with the full knowledge that I have earned that sentence. Unlike some people who I have written about, I will not make excuses for my plight.

Again, I take 100% responsibility for everything that has happened.

I will be working very hard from now until the day I go in. In my absence, the site will continue. I will submit work as well, although it will obviously be of a different nature. It’s hard to write breaking news stories and daily opinion when it takes awhile to get your work out. That being said, I believe that I can still contribute in a meaningful way.

I want to take this opportunity to also apologize to my fiancé, Nora, my mother, the rest of my family, and all my friends. Even though most of them have not told me so, I realize I have let them down with my actions. Since my release, I have taken steps to make up for it, and I will continue with that mission. I put a burden on them with my legal issues and I will always work to let them know that this unfortunate situation is something that I will make sure improves me, in the long run.

Thank you all for you support during my time of troubles. I want to tell you that I am sorry and that I wish I could take it back. Life doesn’t work that way, though. I appreciate all the writers and commentators who have continued to promote my writing, despite the fact that it would have been very easy to stop associating with me or the site. That’s meant a lot to me, as I see my efforts here as separate from my failings back in August. But I also appreciate all of you readers even more. You’ve made running this site a huge joy in my life and I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything. I met my future wife thanks to you, if you think about it. I promise you all that I will not let this bring me under. There’s still a lot more to be done and I consider this a detour that I will come back from even stronger.

I will now return to regular programming and I won’t be talking about this again until the day I go in. Thank you for reading, and I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas.

Ethan Ralph

Founder, Owner, & Editor-in-Chief of TheRalphRetort.com. Political fiend, gamer, & anti-bullshit.