Jurors Award Rape Victim $1 Billion in Damages

Hope Cheston was 14 years old when she was sexually assaulted by an armed security guard in Georgia in 2012, court records say. On Tuesday, she was awarded $1 billion in damages as part of a lawsuit against the security company that employed the guard, according to The Washington Post. Brandon Lamar Zachary, 22, was convicted of rape and sentenced to 20 years in prison, but Cheston said that the security company “never contacted her or apologized for what happened.” “It was a shocking moment; it was a beautiful moment,” Cheston said of the “history-making” sum Clayton County jurors awarded her. “It showed human kindness in its purest form.” When the trial was over, jurors reportedly came up and hugged her, saying, “You’re worth something.” Cheston’s lawyer said that they didn’t expect to collect that full sum. “What that number stands for is the most important thing,” he said. “This $1 billion isn’t just my $1 billion,” Cheston said. “This number on this sheet of paper—it’s my case, yes, but it’s all of our case.”