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Daughter Asks $800,000 in Damages in Molestation Trial

September 10, 1993|JEFF McDONALD

A Simi Valley man should pay his daughter more than $800,000 in civil damages for molesting her more than 150 times as a child, an attorney told a Ventura County Superior Court judge on Thursday.

In closing arguments at the lengthy trial, attorney Kelton Lee Gibson said his client suffers severe depression and has nightmares resulting from weekly sexual assaults from the time she was 8 years old until she was 11.

The 37-year-old Paso Robles woman, identified only as Diane T. in the civil case, says she repressed all memory of the attacks until January, 1991, when her father told her that her grandmother was near death.

During the trial, a therapist testified that the woman displayed symptoms consistent with having been sexually molested as a child.

The defendant testified that his daughter lied about the allegations to get even with him because she was left out of her grandmother's will, said Jeffrey S. Frasier, the defendant's attorney.

But Gibson likened his client's long-repressed memory of the attacks to a bottled-up genie waiting to be unleashed.

"The trouble with it is, it's always there," he told Judge Barbara A. Lane, who is hearing the case without a jury. "And when that lamp is rubbed, the genie's going to come popping out."

Frasier said his client could never have sexually molested his daughter because the man has been impotent since 1960.

The attorney also pointed to numerous phone calls from the woman to Bishop, Calif.--where her grandmother owned property--that she testified she could not remember making.

"It would be an understatement to characterize this testimony as conflicting," Frasier told Lane.

The matter was taken under submission by the court after closing arguments. A decision is not expected for at least a week.

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