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Ohio Supreme Court to hear appeal by victim in church sexual abuse case

The Ohio Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on December 15, 2015 in the victim's appeal of Simpkins v. Grace Brethren Church, a civil case centered on the repeated sexual assault of a young girl by her church pastor. The victim is appealing the lower court's ruling that resulted in a drastic reduction in the original jury verdict -- from $3.5 million to $350,000 -- because of legislatively adopted damage caps in civil lawsuits.

This case is a classic example of legislators stripping Ohio citizens of the constitutional right to have a legal dispute decided by a jury of their peers. This poor girl was only 15 years-old when she was raped multiple times. She reportedly now suffers from chronic post-traumatic stress disorder and has had significant difficulty moving forward with her life. After hearing both sides present all of the evidence, the jury decided that the victim was entitled to $3.6 million as compensation for her injuries that will likely last her a lifetime. Unfortunately, legislation motivated by special interest groups has prevented this victim from receiving the justice that she deserves.

Although Rourke & Blumenthal has had no involvement in this case, we strongly support the victim and her legal team and hope that the victim gets the justice that the jury felt that she deserved. We strongly believe that legal disputes should be decided by juries based on the facts, not by legislation influenced by special interest lobbyists.