A Black law firm is behind a record $1 billion in damages awarded on Tuesday to a rape victim against a security company, News One exclusively reports.
L. Chris Stewart, managing partner at Stewart, Seay & Felton Trial Attorneys, LLC represented Hope Cheston, a 14-year-old girl who was raped by some picnic tables by a 22-year-old apartment security guard named Brandon Lamar Zachary in October 2012 in Georgia.
“There is no ceiling on the value of a woman who has been raped. Period. Just because you don’t see the scars doesn’t mean she’s healed,” said Stewart.
Zachary, who does not have a net worth near $1 billion, was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Stewart said the historic verdict represents something bigger.
“I don’t care if we ever recover a dime, it’s what it stands for,” he said. “This verdict stands for the value of victims of rape and sends a message to those responsible,” Stewarts said. “We pay hundreds of millions of dollars to athletes. Social media apps are worth billions, yet rape isn’t.”
Crime Prevention Agency was held liable for the damages. Stewart said that Zachary shouldn’t have been hired because he wasn’t licensed, ABC 7 in Chicago reports.
“I feel like my case is just to show that you may not get it immediately, but you will get what you’re worth,” Cheston, who’s now 20, told the Associated Press. “This shows that people do care about the worth of a woman.”
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Teddy is a multimedia journalist who serves as the culture and political writer for EBONY. His work has appeared in NBC's Owned and Operated stations, as well as DNAInfo, which covered local neighborhood news in New York City. He received his Masters in Journalism from the Craig Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY in 2017.