Here's a story. It's a clichéd story but a true one.
When I started studying philosophy back in 1980, there was a graduate student named Frank who was widely admired in the department. Frank was brilliant, good looking, very good at expressing himself and socially adept. The boys all wanted to be like him, the girls were all in love with him and the professors were all a little scared of him.
The only criticism you heard of Frank was that he was taking a little while with his thesis and, since that criticism can be justly laid at the feet of ninety-nine percent of graduate students, it had little impact. Frank, who was living with a woman who was a government manager, had also had what were then called "flings" with a number of women around the department and, it was rumoured, with the wife of one of his professors. The women themselves, however, didn't complain (quite the opposite in fact) and everybody hated the professor whose wife he had supposedly had sex with.
And then Frank's world collapsed around him. The woman Frank lived with got a call from her daughter's school one day. The girl had not shown up for school; in fact, she'd missed a lot of school lately. The woman left the office and drove home immediately. When she opened the door at home, she heard music and smelt marijuana smoke. Both were coming from her bedroom. When she got there she found Frank and her fifteen year old daughter in bed together.
She did not call the police. I talked to her about it and she told me that she thought the legal process would hurt her daughter more than help. She didn't seem that determined to punish Frank at all, she just wanted him out of their lives. She did punish though. Without her financial and moral support, Frank fell apart. He never finished the thesis and the last time I saw Frank he was working in a parking lot.
As I say, you've heard stories like this before because this sort of thing happens quite a lot. And I've told a rather cursory version of it. I've given us not much more than the skeleton of the story or, as I prefer to think of it, the the elements of a story. You could even say, I certainly would, that I haven't really told the story at all; I've just sketched out the main elements.