Jury Awards $28 Million to Woman in Sex Abuse Case

When the woman was 9 and 10 years old, she was repeatedly molested by a member of her Fremont church.

Saturday, Jun 16, 2012  |  Updated 4:32 PM PDT
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An attorney for the Jehovah's Witnesses congregation said he would appeal the jury's decision.

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An Alameda County jury has awarded $28 million in damages to a Northern California woman who said the Jehovah's Witnesses allowed an adult member of a Fremont church to molest her when she was a child in the mid-1990s.

The attorney for Candace Conti, Rick Simons, says jurors awarded $7 million in compensatory damages on Wednesday and another $21 million in punitive damages on Thursday to his client.

In her lawsuit, Conti, now 26, said from 1995-1996, when she was 9 and 10 years old and a member of the North Fremont Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses, she was repeatedly molested by a fellow congregant.

The Associated Press does not does not normally name victims of child sexual abuse but Conte's lawyer says she has identified herself publicly to encourage other victims of sexual abuse to come forward.

An attorney for the congregation said he would appeal the jury's decision.

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