A Georgia jury has awarded an eye-popping $1 billion verdict against a security company after an apartment complex guard was convicted of raping a 14-year-old girl.
Hope Cheston was outside by some picnic tables with her boyfriend during a party in October 2012 when an armed security guard approached, attorney L. Chris Stewart said on Wednesday. The guard told the boyfriend not to move and raped Cheston, Stewart said.
The guard, identified in the lawsuit as Brandon Lamar Zachary, was convicted of statutory rape and is serving a 20-year prison sentence, according to online prison records.
Renatta Cheston-Thornton filed a lawsuit in March 2015 on behalf of her daughter, who was still a minor at the time. The jury on Tuesday handed down the verdict against Crime Prevention Agency, the security company that employed Zachary.
Zachary, who was 22 at the time of the rape, should never have been hired because he wasn’t licensed to be an armed guard, Stewart said.
He also had been previously convicted for statutory rape.