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Epsom woman wins $50,000 in sex assault case

An Epsom woman was awarded $50,000 by a Merrimack County jury last week against an Epsom business owner convicted of sexually assaulting her.

Amy Labonville sued Laurence Caraway Jr. on multiple counts of assault, battery and the infliction of emotional distress in her 2008 lawsuit. She said that Caraway touched her sexually when she came to him in 2007 seeking a cleaning job at his business, Kitchen Klean.

Caraway, 67, was convicted by a jury in 2008 of two counts of sexual assault and one count of simple assault. But for reasons that were not clear in the court file, those convictions and sentences were vacated in March 2012.

Caraway was then convicted of one count of simple assault and given a one-year jail sentence, all of which was suspended. He was also ordered to register as a sex offender but on the nonpublic list for offenses that do not involve children.

In her lawsuit, Labonville sought compensation for financial losses she incurred and for her emotional distress. The case was argued before a jury last week.

Before trial, Caraway’s attorney, Gregory Moffett of Concord, offered Labonville $35,000 to settle the case, according to court records. Labonville’s attorney, Tony Soltani, demanded $500,000.

The jury awarded Labonville $50,000. According to their verdict form contained in the case file, jurors found Caraway had committed personal injury and battery on Labonville. But they did not find that Caraway had intentionally inflicted emotional distress on Labonville.

Reached late last week, Moffett said he and Caraway had not decided whether to appeal the jury’s verdicts. “We are in the process of evaluating our options with our client and we haven’t made any decisions yet, but we will be doing that shortly.”

(Annmarie Timmins can be reached at 369-3323,
atimmins@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @annmarietimmins.)

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