April 12, 2010 — -- A Washington woman is accused of luring a disabled man into a relationship with promises of marriage and children only to squander thousands of dollars of his money, leaving him suicidal and in debt, investigators say.
Alesha Lair, 23, is charged with theft and domestic violence stemming from what King County prosecutors are calling a "deceptive" two-year relationship with 55-year-old Douglas Lare.
Lare was diagnosed at birth with mild mental retardation and cerebral palsy and has a mental age that ranges between 6 and 12 years old, according to the probable cause report from the Seattle Police Department.
Prior to his relationship with Lair, he had no outstanding debt and held a full-time job. But in the past year, he has been hospitalized multiple times for suicidal threats because of the debt his relationship resulted caused, according to the report.
Lare told Det. Elizabeth Litalien of the Seattle Police Department, according to the probable cause report, that he "felt like going home and drowning himself in his bathtub," and that he had fears the IRS was going to "throw him in jail or shoot him."
Lare met the then-18-year-old Lair in August 2005, and she became his first girlfriend.
In the more than two years afterward, his girlfriend proceeded to rack up thousands of dollars of debt on several credit cards that Lare himself was not capable of monitoring due to his neurodevelopment and medical conditions, according to the report.
"One only has to be with Lare for a few minutes to realize his vulnerability, Litalien wrote in the report. "I believe Lair was fully aware of Lare's cognitive and physical disabilities, and knowingly and willingly exploited him."
According to statements by Lare given to authorities, his new girlfriend "promised him they would be married" but that before they could do so, she insisted she had to "establish credit in her name."
Calls made to Lare's home were not immediately returned, nor were those left for Lair's mother, Barbara Roberson.
Alesha Lair Allegedly Took Advantage of Man's Disabilities, Spent His Money
In her report, Litalien claims that Lair "used deception in order to gain control over Lare's finances" when in reality, she was "actually planning for a future" with her prisoner boyfriend Timothy Dye.
Records show that before the couple began dating, Lare had four credit and store cards in his name, three of which had a balance of zero. But by 2008, two of those cards had nearly $10,000 on them, allegedly from Lair's use.
Between 2006 and 2007, more than 10 cards were opened in Lare's name and have since racked up more than $20,000 in charges.
Lare told authorities that he would "sign whatever Lair handed to him because he trusted her," according to the documents.
Even Lair's mother is accused in the police report of getting involved in the scam, although she was never charged by authorities. But according to Lare, his girlfriend and her mother "beat on him" to get him to buy a $25,000 car, even though his disability prevents him from being able to drive.
Lare also told authorities that his girlfriend, "unbeknownst to him," went online and requested and got a "hardship withdrawal" from his retirement account for the entire balance of $59,000.
In November 2007, Lare's girlfriend took off and moved, claiming, according to documents, that she wanted to "establish her independence" before they got married.
But in January 2008, Lair's boyfriend Dye, just released from prison on unrelated charges, allegedly burglarized Lare's home and stole electronics and other expensive items.
Dye has been charged with residential burglary and Lair is being held at the King County Jail on $50,000 bail.