Jury awards precedent-setting $100M to church sex abuse victim
Alleged victim testified in priest's trial
A Miami jury has awarded more than $100 million to a South Florida man who alleges he was sexually abused as a teen by South Florida priest Neil Doherty.
"It has been tough," said Andres Susana, the alleged victim, at a news conference with his attorney Thursday. "If it happens to somebody individually and they don't come forward, I would understand why."
"We now we have a measure of what a jury thinks about these cases, and what a jury thinks the damages are like," said attorney Jeffrey Herman.
By all accounts, the verdict is the first to be reached in a lawsuit filed against a priest personally. The jury awarded $10 million to compensate Susana for mental anguish and loss of income because of it and $90 million in punitive damages.
Doherty, who is currently in jail in Broward County on charges involving other alleged victims, worked with Archdiocese of Miami for decades, and has a long list of men who have come forward to accuse him of drugging and raping them when they were vulnerable teens looking for a father figure.
"He was a serial predator who, on a daily basis, I believe, was prowling for kids and was being served up victims through his role as a priest," Herman said.
Susana testified at his trial.
"I gave them a vivid picture of what I've been through, and the outcome was the outcome. Obviously, I made an impact," Susana said.
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