ROBESON COUNTY, N.C. — Former Miss North Carolina Rebekah Revels won her lawsuit, but still has not gotten paid. Now, her lawyer plans to ask the Cherokee nation for help enforcing the judgment.
In March, a Robeson County jury decided Revels' ex-fiancÚ, Tosh Welch, was wrong when he notified pageant officials he had topless photos of her. Revels lost the crown because of it. The jury awarded monetary damages to Revels and her attorney, Barry Nakell, said Welch should pay.
"He should be responsible, but obviously he was irresponsible in connection with the whole incident, so we're not surprised and he continues to show that character now," he said.
Welch lives and works on the Cherokee reservation in the western part of the state. The Cherokee nation has its own laws and jurisdiction, but it has to respect the rulings of other courts -- something the law calls "full faith and credit."
In the past, the Cherokee tribal council has protected Welch from the state court system. Nakell hopes that will not happen this time, so Revels can get her money.
"The Cherokee court will take a certain percentage of his wages over time. It'll probably take a couple of years for us to get the final judgment," Nakell said. "But in the meantime, the judgment's accumulating interest at 8 percent, and we will enforce that against him as well."
The Welch case is not Revels' only unresolved legal battle. She is appealing her case against the Miss North Carolina pageant and she plans to go to trial against Miss America officials next year.