She says her stepfather physically and sexually harmed her as a child
November 7, 2008
A Marion County jury awarded a woman $1.5 million in damages for emotional and physical harm inflicted by her stepfather when she was a child.
The jury returned its verdict against defendant Edward Webb last week after a three-day trial in front of Circuit Judge Lynn Ashcroft.
The 24-year-old woman, who asked not to be identified, brought the suit under Oregon law that allows adults to sue their childhood abusers, said the woman’s attorney of the Portland law firm O’Donnell Clark and Crew.
The woman did not report the abuse under Oregon’s criminal child-abuse law because the statute of limitations had run out, said her attorney.
The trial lasted from Oct. 28 to 30, and the jury deliberated the morning of Oct. 31 before coming back with a verdict by noon.
The woman’s attorney thinks the jury verdict was one of the largest of its kind in Oregon.
The $1.5 million was awarded for noneconomic damages. The jury also awarded the woman about $52,900 in economic damages for past and future counseling.
Webb’s attorney, Robert Gunn, did not return repeated calls for comment.
According to court documents, all of the alleged actions began when the woman was 11 or 12 years old and continued until she was about 14 years old.
Webb, now 43, sexually molested the girl and forced her to perform acts such as wearing pantyhose, tying her up and touching her inappropriately, the court documents said.
The court documents said Webb was found dressed as a woman when the girl came home from school and the abuse would occur.
Ashcroft will determine punitive damages Monday.
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