Judge: Rape Victim Can Sue Lottery-Winning Attacker

Brit judge rules time limit can be waived for woman raped 20 years ago
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 9, 2008 5:04 AM CDT
The judge making the decision noted that the circumstances of the case, where the defendant suddenly gained $14 million, were highly unusual.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Britain's High Court has ruled that a rape victim can sue her lottery-winning attacker 20 years after the crime, reports the Guardian. The man bought a lottery ticket while on day release from prison and won a $14 million jackpot. The case is exceptional but it may set a precedent for other victims previously defeated by a six-year limit for compensation claims.

The rapist's lack of funds at the time of conviction spared him from being sued, the judge pointed out. The victim, now 78, said the brutal 1988 attack destroyed her self-esteem and relationships, and she plans to sue for psychological damages. Her rapist, released after 16 years in jail, now lives in a $1.5 million house in the north of England.