An Iowa judge handed down a remarkable indictment of guilt against a grandfather accused of sexual assault on his own granddaughter, ordering the man to pay the child and her mother $10 million in damages.
Kasey Hilpipre and her 9-year-old daughter filed a civil lawsuit against Dean Hilpipre of Webster City, Iowa, testifying that the sexual abuse had begun when the child was just two years old and not ending until she was seven and the child revealed what was being done to her.
In describing the aftermath of the sexual assault, the child’s maternal grandmother said that she had stopped eating and cried easily. Deborah Yanna said, “She stated in her testimony that, ‘My grandfather took me into the woods, and he forced my hand on his private …’” She went on to say, “Our heart broke. I can’t even explain our heartache for her, and yet we see this little girl almost every day and she’s broken.”
Sexual Assault Lawsuit Filed After Prison Sentence Was Cut Short
The family decided to file their sexual assault lawsuit against Hilpipre after his 10-year prison sentence was suspended as part of a plea deal. Shortly afterward he won $100,000 in the lottery, and they decided to pursue him for damages, accusing him of sexual assault, fault imprisonment, assault and battery, and emotional distress.
The jury awarded them $10 million, but April Hilpipre and her mother say that no amount of money will make up for the trauma that the child suffered. “Our granddaughter won the $10 million, but that $10 million will never replace what this man took away from her,” Yanna said.
While the family now plans to lobby for laws preventing those who sexually abuse children from being eligible for plea deals, Dean Hilpipre is expected to pay the judgment awarded to the family: should it be shown that he spends any money before paying what he owes, he can be held in contempt of the court order.