A Florida jury has awarded $4.6 million in a suit brought by a woman who accused her father of sexually abusing her for 16 years while her mother negligently failed to prevent the abuse, her lawyers announced Tuesday.
Following a six-day trial and just two hours of deliberations, an Alachua County jury on Monday ruled in favor of Rebekka Trahan in a suit accusing Scott Mulholland Sr. of sexually abusing Trahan, his biological daughter, from the age of 8 until she left home at the age of 24. Trahan, who did not file her lawsuit under a Jane Doe alias and whose name was used in Tuesday's press release, also alleged that Mulholland encouraged her eldest brother, Scott Mulholland Jr., to sexually abuse her.
The jury found the elder Mulholland liable for child abuse and battery or sexual battery and awarded $4 million for past and future pain and suffering and mental anguish and $643,000 for future medical expenses, according to the verdict. His wife, Tina Mulholland, was cleared of child abuse but found liable for negligence.
Mulholland, a former U.S. Marine counter-terrorism instructor who parlayed his ability to scale walls into a successful window cleaning business, is a prominent business leader in his community, according to one of Trahan’s attorneys, Michael Dolce of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC.
“The jury has today endorsed Rebekka Trahan’s truth about the abuse she suffered for so many years, the truth her family wanted kept secret,” Dolce said in a statement. “Mulholland is a leader in his community and has made headlines in local newspapers for his rags-to-riches story. But the evidence showed that, behind closed doors, he was a monster to his daughter and taught his son to be one, too.”
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