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Daily Herald - Kane County

updated: 9/25/2017 3:44 PM

$4 million award in lawsuit over sex abuse from Sugar Grove foster parent


Harry Hitzeman




A Kane County judge has awarded $4 million in damages to a man who was sexually abused by a Sugar Grove foster parent in 2004.

The attorney for the victim, identified as John Doe, said his client was vindicated by the ruling even though it will be difficult, if not impossible, to collect the entire amount from Noel F. Buhay, 50, who was convicted earlier this year.

                    "As we came out of court, my client felt extremely vindicated

                     that the legal system finally acknowledged the truthfulness

                     of what he was saying, the anguish, pain and stress and anxiety

                     and dysfunction he will suffer,"  -  attorney George Acosta said.

Judge James Murphy awarded $2 million in compensatory damages and $2 million in punitive damages.

Acosta said the judgment came after a hearing Friday in which C. Dion Bush, a licensed clinical psychologist who had treated the victim, testified as to the effects the abuse will have such as PTSD.

The victim and one of the victim's friends also testified before Murphy, Acosta said.

"(The award) was exactly what we asked for. We supported the request through witness testimony and documentary evidence," Acosta said. "These (effects) are likely permanent."



The victim will use money from the judgment for treatment, counseling and education plans.

                    "There's a couple avenues we're looking into. Whether we

                     collect 50 percent or 2 percent of it or none of it, a lot was                                                          accomplished with the award."          Acosta said.

A jury in March convicted Buhay of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child from January 2004 through May 2004. Charges that he sexually assaulted another child from March 2004 through December 2008 are pending.

Buhay is being held at the Kane County jail without bail and is due in court Oct. 13.

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