Civil Jury Awards $300,000 to Sex Abuse Victim of Fall River Catholic School Teacher
By Brian Fraga
April 14, 2016
A civil jury has awarded $300,000 to an anonymous plaintiff who alleged that Albert Vaillancourt, a long-time Fall River Catholic school teacher, sexually abused him when the plaintiff was a 10-year-old student in the mid-1980s.
During the recent civil trial at New Bedford Superior Court, a second person testified that during the same time period, when he was also 10 years old, Vaillancourt sexually abused him in the Fall River Catholic Youth Organization building, in a similar manner to which the unidentified plaintiff testified, according to attorneys representing the plaintiff.
Carmen L. Durso, one of two Boston attorneys who represented the plaintiff, said the verdict, which the jury reached on March 21 after four hours of deliberation, vindicated and pleased his client.
“People really don’t understand civil cases,” Durso said. “They think of them as only being about money, but frequently a civil case is the only way which a person gets the ability to have their version of the truth vindicated. And that was the most important thing for my client. If the jury had come back and awarded him a dollar, I think he would have been emotionally fulfilled as he was by the verdict.”
Vaillancourt’s attorney filed post-trial motions, seeking to overturn the verdict, which Superior Court Judge Robert Kane, the presiding judge, denied on April 4.
Taunton attorney Frank O’Boy, who represented Vaillancourt, said he is appealing the verdict to the Massachusetts Appellate Court.
“We believe there are meritorious issues that should give us a new trial,” O’Boy said.