Ohio News

Ohio ruling expected on capping awards for juvenile sexual abuse victims

(Photo Supplied/Ohio News Service)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WOWO/Ohio News Service): An Ohio Supreme Court decision is expected soon that could impact the amount of financial compensation child sexual abuse victims can receive.

Jessica Simpkins was raped at the age of 15 by her church pastor, who was hired by Grace Brethren Church in Sunbury despite the knowledge that he had previously sexually abused two girls.

In a civil suit, a jury awarded Simpkins $3.5-million for pain and suffering, but the amount was reduced to $250,000 due to a state law that caps damages.

She says she’s being re-victimized and took the case to the Ohio Supreme Court.

“I just feel like they’re protecting the church,” she states. “When they had the accusations made against him previous, if they wouldn’t have let him start this church, it would never have happened.”

Simpkins’ attorney argues the law is unconstitutional as applied to juvenile sexual abuse victims, as they can suffer more emotional damages than physical or economic harm.

Attorneys for the church maintain large awards on non-economic injuries are subjective and difficult to quantify.

Arguments were heard in December and a decision is expected any day now.

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