Plaintiff awarded significant damages after childhood sexual assault

Date: Oct 13, 2019

The NSW Supreme Court has awarded a local man over $3.5 million in damages following claims of sexual in two decades ago.

Background to the assault incidents

The plaintiff was 13 when the sexual assaults first took place. He first came into contact with the defendant while mowing lawns and doing yard maintenance for neighbours. During the first few visits to the defendant’s property, the plaintiff was groomed by the defendant with conversation of a sexual nature. The defendant, who was 56 at the time of meeting the plaintiff, also regularly bought lollies and chips for the boy, to gain his trust.

After weeks of grooming, and having gained a degree of psychological influence, the defendant encouraged the plaintiff to engage in homosexual acts with him. The assaults took place in a caravan the defendant kept on land nearby, or in the defendant’s home when his wife was away.

While the plaintiff alleges that there were many incidents which took place over the next two years, the defendant was only sentenced to six counts of sexual assault in the District Court. These were the only occasions in which the plaintiff was able to provide sufficient detail.

The effect of this assault

The Supreme Court ruled that the above six incidents, as well as others the plaintiff could not recall specific information about, contributed to a great deal of psychological suffering. Guilt and humiliation began to manifest within months of the first act of sexual assault, with the plaintiff becoming difficult and uncooperative at school. From the age of 15 (in 1998, towards the end of the period of assaults) the plaintiff began smoking and drinking alcohol to excess, and his behaviour became destructive. This led to his expulsion from school in 1999.

In the following years, the plaintiff struggled to hold down steady employment. As a consequence, and with the added restrictions of gross weight gain from his medication, the plaintiff has been unable to work since 2016. His psychological trauma also restricted his relationships due to random outbursts of anger over which the plaintiff had no control. Despite marrying and having three children, this violent behaviour eventually led to estrangement from his family, and he was committed to a mental health facility in 2010.

Breaking down the damages

Independent psychiatric and psychological reports ruled that the period of sustained sexual assault led the plaintiff to manifest his emotional and social difficulties over the years, proving the long-term damaging effects of sexual assault, especially when it’s kept hidden. The plaintiff’s compensation covers psychological and physical symptoms stemming from the incident, past and future economic loss, and future medical treatment and domestic care.

To learn more about how we can help with your own sexual assault case, contact Gerard Malouf & Partners today.

Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of my compensation experts, or email your enquiry.