$40 Million Award|for Domestic Assault

DALLAS (CN) – A Texas jury Wednesday awarded $40 million to a domestic assault victim who endured more than five hours of rape and torture by her ex-boyfriend.
     Maria Escamilla, 46, sued Jose Arreola in Dallas County Court in 2013 for infliction of bodily injury. She was stabbed, cut with a knife and struck with a lamp in their home in Lancaster, suffering serious injuries to her face, hands, chest and genitals, and needed life-saving surgery and extensive plastic surgery. More than 500 stitches were required to close her wounds.
     The jury awarded Escamilla $13.5 million for past and future physical pain, mental anguish, disfigurement and physical impairment, and $27.1 million in punitive damages.
     It is one of the largest civil judgments ever for a domestic assault victim.
     Arreola was sentenced to 28 years in state prison in 2013. He has no known assets or means to pay the judgment.
     “I have no illusions of ever seeing a penny,” Escamilla told The Dallas Morning News on Wednesday. “If this stops one perpetrator from hurting one victim, it was worth it for me.” She said the judgment made her “feel like my life mattered.”
     “To get the largest judgment in a domestic violence lawsuit … means the message is getting out there,” she told CBS-affiliate KTVT.
     Her attorney, Michael Pezzulli, said the jury “was angry” and wanted “to send the message that Dallas County is not going to tolerate family violence anymore.” He said Arreola did not apologize during his criminal trial, nor during the civil trial.
     “I think he’s a psychopath,” he told the Morning News.

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