Writing a letter of character reference.
May 20, 2014 9:12 AM Subscribe
I'm a 48 year old guy and in high school there was a group of 5 of us who were very tight.
We remained tight through college and then on into family life. Then about 15 years ago one guy drifted off with his family. We all eventually lost contact with him. Maybe a phone call one Christmas or another.
posted by humboldt32 to Human Relations (29 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Now, in the last couple of years, we've been contacted by his now ex-wife and his sister as well. Apparently there was an acrimonious divorce, some custody struggles and general divorced-kid rebellion. At some point one of his daughter's teenage friends accused him of inappropriate sexual contact and now he sits in jail awaiting trial.
His ex-wife and sister have asked each of us friends to write letters of character reference. So I have a dilemma. I can certainly attest to his character while I knew him, but years have passed and I don't have any way of confirming that he is being wrongly accused. I feel uneasy about making statements like "He never would have done such a thing". I hope that he wouldn't, but it seems to me that everyone is capable of such things, given the right circumstances. I'm not excusing such actions, it's just that no one believes their friend would do such a thing. I don't know what his mental state was at the time. Etc.
So two questions:
1. What are general rules of thumb for writing such a letter?
2. What do I do with my uncertainty about what might/could have happened?