On February 27, 1998, I
found that default judgment should be entered against the defendant Lawrence
E. King in favor of the plaintiff, Paul A. Bonacci. A trial on the issue of
the damages due the plaintiff by that defendant was had on February 5, 1999.
Two counts are alleged against the defendant: King in the complaint. Count V alleges a conspiracy with public officers to deprive the plaintiff of his civil rights, designed to continue to subject the plaintiff to emotional abuse and to prevent him from informing authorities of criminal conduct. Count VIII charges battery, false imprisonment, infliction of emotional distress, negligence and conspiracy to deprive the plaintiff of civil rights. Between December 1980 and 1988, the complaint alleges, the defendant King continually subjected the plaintiff to repeated sexual assaults, false imprisonments, infliction of extreme emotional distress, organized and directed satanic rituals, forced the plaintiff to "scavenge" for children to be a part of the defendant King's sexual abuse and pornography ring, forced the plaintiff to engage in numerous masochistic orgies with other minor children. The defendant King's default has made those allegations true against him. The issue now is the relief to be granted monetarily.
The now uncontradicted evidence is that the plaintiff has suffered much. He has suffered burns, broken fingers, beating of the head and face and other indignities by the wrongful actions of the defendant King. In addition to the misery of going through the experiences just related over a period of eight years, the plaintiff has suffered the lingering results to the present time. He is a victim of multiple personality disorder, involving as many as fourteen distinct personalities aside from his primary personality. He has given up a desired military career and received threats on his life. He suffers from sleeplessness, has bad dreams, has difficulty in holding a job, is fearful that others are following him, fears getting killed, has depressing flashbacks, and is verbally violent on occasion, all in connection with the multiple personality disorder and caused by the wrongful activities of the defendant King.
Almost certainly the defendant King has little remaining financial resources, but a fair judgment to compensate the plaintiff is necessary. For the sixteen years since the abuse of the plaintiff began I conclude that a fair compensation for the damages he has suffered is $800,000. A punitive damage award also is justified, but the amount needs to be limited because of the small effect that such a judgment would have on the defendant King, given his financial condition and presence in prison. I deem the punitive damage award of $200,000 to be adequate.
Dated February 19, 1999.
By the Court
United States Senior District Judge