Sexual Assault Victim Awarded $1.2 Million
An article by Ed Treleven as it appeared in the Wisconsin State Journal on October 7, 2003:
The Jury Awarded The Teen The Money For Pain And Suffering And Punitive Damages.
A Dane County jury last week awarded $1.2 million to the teenage victim of a sexual assault that occurred four years ago in Columbia County. The jury ruled Thursday that Jason Turcott, 31, must pay the victim, who was 13 at the time of the assault Aug. 14, 1999 $250,000 for past pain and suffering, $250,000 for future pain and suffering and $750,000 in punitive damages.
The jury awarded the girls mother $2,000 for medical expenses.
She felt so empowered by the verdict, said the girls attorney, Jeffrey Pitman. Its definitely a step in the healing process for her.
Turcott’s attorney, Richard Burnham, declined comment except to say he was exploring all options, including an appeal of the verdict.
Turcott was convicted in June 2000 in Columbia County Circuit Court of fourth-degree sexual assault and exposing himself to a child. A charge of second-degree sexual assault was held open while he was in the district attorneys deferred prosecution program and was dismissed after he completed the program in June.
The girls mother and Turcott worked for Dean Health Plan. The assault occurred at a work party when Turcott was alone with the girl in her bedroom.
Turcott is the son of former Dean Health Plan chief executive officer Jack Turcott. When the lawsuit was filed in 2001, Jack Turcott was named as a defendant, along with Dean Health Plan. The lawsuit alleged that Jack Turcott, as father and employer of Jason Turcott, failed to properly supervise his son.
Jack Turcott and Dean were later dismissed as defendants.
A second lawsuit, this one filed by the girls mother against Donald Heitzinger and Associates, the provider of Deans employee assistance program, is set for trial next year. It alleges that Heitzinger violated confidentiality by telling Jack Turcott about discussions the agency had with the girls mother.