Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Sexual Assault Civil Jury Verdict in Los Angeles

A Los Angeles Superior Court case that involved sexual, emotional and spiritual abuse ended recently with a ruling for the plaintiff. The plaintiff was an enthusiastically spiritual person who wanted to learn from teachers and experienced people who shared her faith. Jena Scaccetti thought she had found the perfect spiritual advisors and guides in at Kabbalah Center International. Unfortunately, the center gave her an experience that was so devastating that the courts felt she should receive compensation. The victim received more than $177,000 for the suffering that she received instead of the spiritual growth she desired. 


More About the Case


Millions of people want to find their way to being closer to the higher power. They sincerely want to learn how to serve the higher power in the best possible way. Unfortunately, predators and abusive types sometimes use religion, faith and authority to assault and attack their victims. Such persons often believe that spiritual people are easy prey because they want to please the higher power. As the years pass, the number of persons who experience cases like these keeps growing.


Mrs. Scaccetti encountered a heinous act of sexual abuse, emotional abuse and what seemed like terrorism from an individual who was supposed to be her spiritual advisor. Yehuda Berg, who held the titles of counselor and spiritual advisor, tried to entice Mrs. Scaccetti to drink and get drunk so that he could force himself on her. He attempted to drug the victim, as well. When his efforts did not succeed, the defendant resorted to threatening physical violence. The victim stated that the accused said he would beat her black and blue if she reported the incident to anyone. He threatened to take her life, as well. 


Multiple Cases of Negligence


Negligence appears in this case in more than one area. First, the Kabbalah Center International was guilty of neglect according to the rules of personal injury. The establishment was responsible for training its supervisors correctly and monitoring them carefully. Therefore, the establishment was partially responsible for the offenses that Mr. Berg committed. Mr. Berg is guilty of negligence and abuse on several levels, as well. Sexual assault occurs when one person tries to rape another person, whether the attempt fails or not. The threats and emotional devastation that Mr. Berg put on the victim takes the neglect to a much deeper level that warrants punitive damage. People who have positions of authority such as Mr. Berg are held to a higher standard than other persons are. They are expected to look out for the welfare of their students or their clients. Mr. Berg betrayed the victim’s trust and scarred the reputation of the organization that employed him. 


The Case Specifics


The attorneys for the victim claimed that she had suffered severe emotional distress and that such distress was evidently manifesting on a daily basis in a physical sense. The lawyers sought compensation from Berg himself and Kabbalah Center International because of the neglect. The presiding judge disallowed the specialists that the plaintiff had to testify. The defendant denied all allegations of mishandling the plaintiff or treating her poorly in any way. The case lasted almost two years because of the rebuttals and the denials, but the victim prevailed in the end. The courts found both defendants to be guilty of neglect, malice, oppression, fraud and more. The defendant’s denial of the offense most likely made the outcome worse. The plaintiff ended up receiving more than $177,000 for the emotional distress and physical ailments that occurred because of such distress. She received $85,000 in compensatory damages and $50,000 in punitive damages from Berg. An additional $42,000 was awarded to the victim from Kabbalah Center International. Judges only order punitive damages if the neglect is excessive, and the victim wins the initial compensatory damages. The arbitration and jury verdict only took four days to complete. 


Sexual Assault Is Unacceptable


A victim is entitled to speak to a civil claims attorney for an injury like the one that Mrs. Scaccetti experienced. Offenders must make restitution for what they do so that the victims can try to rebuild their lives. Compassionate attorneys will fight for the victims.