On October 17, 2017, Southern District Judge Robert Sweet awarded $1,250,000 in compensatory damages and $1,000,000 in punitive damages to a former nursing school student who was drugged and brutally raped and sodomized at the Plaza Hotel in 2010. This horrific attack also involved another female friend of the nursing school student. Both were sexually tortured for several hours by the perpetrator who was a low level employee of Saudi Prince Abdulaziz bin Fahd. Since it remains dubious that this award will ever be paid by the perpetrator (who was sentenced to only 10 years in prison in February 2012), what is stunning is how low the award was set by the Judge.
The victim and a friend of hers had been lured into a trap at the Plaza Hotel and both were drugged and raped by the defendant. The victim was unable to continue nursing school, was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder and severe depression, lost her apartment, a side business and had to endure a humiliating cross examination at the criminal trial while reliving the horrors of the event. The defendant had no remorse and had told the victim immediately after the rape--"Go ahead, call the police. Do whatever you want." Still suffering from severe emotional distress up to the present time and having described her mental torture as constant--the award by any Judge or jury should have been much more. Surely, when sexual harassment lawsuits settle for tens of millions - how could this case be worth so much less? Jane Doe v Oanes 13 Civ. 571