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Family gets $1.7M for toddler sex assault

Feb. 7, 2013 at 5:07 PM

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., Feb. 7 (UPI) -- A Florida jury awarded $1.7 million to the family of a girl who was molested by a 15-year-old on a school bus when she was a toddler.

Because the Palm Beach County School Board admitted its employees had been negligent in the 2007 incident, the amount of damages was the only issue up to the jury, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported. Jurors announced their decision Wednesday after a five-day trial.

The girl was 3 1/2 when the assault took place. She didn't testify at the trial.

A lawyer for the family said she had been "profoundly traumatized" by the experience. Lawyers for the school board, arguing for a $250,000 award, said the boy fondled her but didn't penetrate her.

The jury clearly sympathized with the victim, the newspaper said, reporting that as jurors left the courtroom, they embraced her mother.

"My daughter finally got justice," the mother said. "We've been waiting a long time for this."

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