It didn’t take jurors long to reach a result.
In fact, they made an unquestionably resolute determination rather quickly last week in a high-profile child sex abuse case focused on an El Monte residence.
Their verdict: a staggering $45.4 million judgment in favor of a young girl who suffered repeated acts of abuse inflicted by numerous men over a two-year period.
El Monte is but one of many otherwise nondescript residential enclaves within Los Angeles County. What evidence – multiple and tragically sad – indicates occurred in the girl’s home over a prolonged period was sharply dramatic, though. One advocate for the victim (7 years old when authorities first interacted with her) describes her ordeal as being beyond the imaginable.
“She will need a lifetime of therapy,” he said following the verdict.
Jurors placed a huge share of the blame on the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services. Workers involved in the matter were reportedly lax in their case oversight and failed to timely pass along relevant information of concern to law enforcers.
As a result, the young girl suffered repeated sexual abuse at the hands of at least four men and perhaps many more. The mother and multiple offenders were subsequently convicted on criminal charges in the matter.
The DCFS was assessed 45% of the blame in the case, which will necessitate taxpayers’ payment of more than $20 million. The remaining liability targeted the girl’s mother and the four individuals convicted for their behavior. A spokesperson for the girl and her father concedes the unlikelihood that those parties will be able to financially perform.
DCFS officials assert that the department acted properly concerning its interaction with the family and oversight responsibilities. The agency’s director states that the jury “reached the wrong conclusion.”
That assessment is of course starkly challenged by the above-cited evidence, which is both copious and cumulative.