New Bedford Jury Finds Fall River Teacher Liable in Civil Trial for Sexual Assault
April 14, 2016
A New Bedford Superior Court jury has rendered a civil verdict against Albert Vaillancourt, a long-time Fall River Catholic School teacher. The jury awarded $300,000 to the plaintiff, who sued under the name John Doe. A judgment in the amount of $560,352 was then entered by the Court.
The defendant filed post-trial motions, seeking to overturn the verdict, which were denied, on April 4, 2016, by Judge Robert Kane, the presiding judge at the trial. The defendant has now filed a Notice of Appeal.
The plaintiff testified that he was sexually assaulted in 1987, when he was 10 years old, by Vaillancourt, who was his sixth grade teacher at Notre Dame School, Fall River. The abuse occurred on two occasions in the classroom, during recess breaks, and on one occasion at Vaillancourt’s home, when John Doe was there to cut the grass.
A second person testified that during the same time period, when he was 10 years old, he was also sexually assaulted by Vaillancourt, at the Fall River CYO building, in a manner which was similar to the way in which John Doe was assaulted.
The plaintiff was able to prosecute his case because of a new, retroactive, MA statute of limitations law which allows a person sexually abused as a child to file suit at any time prior to his 53rd birthday, against the perpetrator. The MA Supreme Judicial Court declared the law constitutionally sound in December, 2015, and this is the first case tried under that law since the Court’s decision.
The plaintiff was represented by Boston attorneys Carmen L. Durso and Sara Elizabeth Burns. The defendant was represented by Taunton attorney Francis M. O’Boy.
For additional information, contact:
LAW OFFICE OF CARMEN L. DURSO
175 Federal Street, Suite 1425
Boston, MA 02110-2287
Tel: 617-728-9123 - Fax: 617-426-7972