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Family of Sexual Assault Victim Speaks Out About Offender’s Sentencing

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POLK COUNTY, Iowa  --  The family of a girl who sued their daughter's rapist is sharing why they decided to seek civil damages from the man.

James Hohenshell was convicted of lascivious acts with a minor in December of 2014. Court records show he served alcohol to a group of minor girls during a sleepover at his home and then sexually assaulted the plaintiff.

A jury awarded the girl and her family $127 million last week.

On Monday, her family released the following statement:

"The five-year sentence the Defendant received is not near enough for the severity of the crimes he has committed. He is due to be paroled the 25th of March. He will have only served 2 years and 4 months for the rape of a 13 year-old girl. Our hope is that this amount will act as a deterrent to other potential offenders. We may never see a penny, and that is fine with us. If any money is recovered, we plan to use it for other survivors."

The family's attorney says, "The community has sent a loud and clear message that sexual assault does not just end when an offender serves a prison term. The civil justice system can empower a survivor to exact the kind of justice that will follow the offender forever."