2 children awarded $4M for molestation

March 22, 2012 at 7:36 PM

SACRAMENTO, March 22 (UPI) -- A jury awarded about $4.03 million to two girls who said they were molested by a physical education teacher at a Sacramento elementary school.

One juror said after the Sacramento Superior Court verdict was announced Wednesday that school officials dropped the ball on sexual abuse training for both students and teachers, The Sacramento Bee reported Thursday.

"They set the standards, but they didn't spend any money to have those standards met," juror Todd Wilhoyte said. "In particular, they said they were going to do age-appropriate training for kindergarten through third grade on what to do about molestation, and they completely blew it off."

The girls -- identified as Jane Doe, now 15, and Susan Doe, now 11 -- said Abdol Hossein Mehrdadi molested them. Jane Doe said she was molested four times between 2004 and 2007, and Susan Doe said she was molested once in 2007, the newspaper said.

Mehrdadi said he never sexually abused the girls and he has never been arrested or charged with a crime. He was listed as a defendant in the civil trial, but settled out of court before the trial.

The jury awarded Jane Doe $3.63 million and assigned 63 percent of the responsibility to Mehrdadi and 37 percent to the school district. Jurors awarded Susan Doe $400,000 and assigned a 50-50 responsibility.

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