Hudson Valley Special Needs Student Wins $28 Million in Rape Case
A Hudson Valley special needs student won the largest amount of money ever awarded by a jury in a sexual and physical assault case in New York history.
In December 2011, the victim identified as Chantay M, then 13, said a fellow Mount Vernon student sexually assaulted her at his home while giving her a ride home from school. A witnessed testified that the sexual assault occurred because the victim wasn't on a bus for special-education students.
Chantay was a special-education student at Mount Vernon and her cognitive abilities were at a first-grade level at the time of the sexual assault, officials say.
In March of 2012, she was beaten in a locker room by three female students. The attack caused her to suffer a traumatic brain injury and a concussion.
Chantay's relatives asked the school to keep a close watch of her, because she was involved in an off-campus incident with the three girls involved in the locker room attack a few days before the attack, according to Chanty's attorney's.
Following a three-week trial in Westchester County Court, a jury found the Mount Vernon school district was negligent for the sexual assault and locker room beating, according to the New York Law Journal.
The jury found that the school district was 99 % at fault and one of the three students involved in the locker room beating was 1% at fault.
The jury awarded Chatay $28 million, $20 million for future pain and suffering and $8 million for past pain.
The award is the biggest ever given by a jury in a sexual and physical assault case in New York history, according to the victim's lawyer, Jordan Merson of Merson Law.
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