A rape survivor was awarded a historic $1 billion settlement earlier this week, the New York Times .
Twenty-year-old Hope Cheston was just 14 years old when an armed security guard raped her outside of a friend’s birthday party in Jonesboro, Georgia. Her rapist, 28-year-old Brandon Lamar Zachary, is currently serving a 20-year prison sentence for statutory rape. In 2015, Cheston’s mother also filed a civil lawsuit against Crime Prevention Agency, the security company that employed him at the time. Three years later, they were found liable for negligence.
The Times points out that there’s a strong likelihood that she won’t see the full settlement since the company isn’t worth that much money, but it was still an important symbolic victory.
“For the longest, I just thought it was swept under the rug and that it no longer mattered and that it just is what it is,” Cheston . “But come to find out that 12 strangers feel like what I went through and my story and how I feel — after six years — is worth a billion dollars? That is life-changing, history-making. Just beautiful news to know.”