Maine Woman Wins Civil Sex Abuse Case

MaineA 28-year-old Maine woman has won a sexual abuse lawsuit against a man whom she says sexually abused her when she was a young girl.

In the non-jury trial, Judge Donald G. Alexander awarded the woman nearly $2,000,000 in damages. He concluded that her difficulties in adult life largely stem from the fact that she was sexually abused as a child. She was awarded $88,594 in special damages, $1,300,000 in general damages and $500,000 in punitive damages — a total of $1,888,594 plus costs and interests. Special damages include medical expenses, future treatment and counseling, and lost earnings, while general damages are for pain, suffering, mental anguish and loss of enjoyment of life.

The woman sued Maine businessman Steven Pagels in 2012 for repeated sexual assault and battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress through sexual abuse, gross negligence and recklessness in inflicting emotional distress, and malice. The judge found that a preponderance of the evidence demonstrated the woman’s claims of sexual abuse.

This case is a true victory for survivors of childhood sexual abuse because the judge who decided the case, by deciding in favor of the woman and awarding substantial money damages, acknowledged that childhood sexual trauma can have long-term, serious consequences that affect adult lives.

Dumas and Vaughn Attorneys at Law has law offices in Portland, Oregon and serves clients in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and other states.

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