Man gets $28M in sex abuse settlement

May 26, 2011 5:20:31 AM PDT
A man who was sexually abused as a child by a family friend was awarded a record settlement- $28 million, the largest ever given to a victim of sexual abuse in the state of Illinois.

Lawrence Snyder was 12 when the abuse started and it continued for five more years until Snyder ran away from home. He become addicted to heroin and turned to panhandling to feed his habit.

He filed his lawsuit as part of his healing process and his lawyer says the huge award is appropriate. "What the jury is doing is sending a loud a message to abusers that you can't get away with this," Joseph Klest, attorney, said.

"After everything that I went through that amount will not ever get me back that time in my life of innocence," Snyder said.

Snyder is not likely to collect the money he was awarded, but he says he feels relieved to finally get justice.

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