Father to pay for son's crimes

June 27, 2008 4:09:22 PM PDT
A year and a half after a wildlife expert was sentenced to prison for molesting several boys, a jury says his father should also pay for turning a blind eye. A jury says a father should have warned parents that his son was a pedophile. And now they want the dad to pay more than a million dollars to the boys who were molested by his son.

Jason Newsom has been in prison for two years now, sentenced to 20 years for sexually abusing four boys. Newsom was in his 30s when the boys were abused, but there were some incidents in the past in which he was accused of molesting other children, but never charged with a crime.

This week, a civil court jury in Conroe awarded the four boys $8 million in punitive damages, $1.6 million of that, according to the jury, would have to be paid by his father. The reason the jury decided was that Hal Newsom failed to warn the families that his son may have molested other children years ago.

The father's attorney says that should concern all parents.

"The main issue is should a parent whose child commits a crime as a minor and then commits a similar crime as an adult, should that parent be held liable for not warning someone about what your child did 20 years ago," said the father's attorney, Judy Mingledorff.

It's a kind of Scarlet Letter law and the father's attorney is appealing the jury award.

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