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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:When Gianna Driver was 13 or 14, her stepfather, James G. Conley Sr., began initiating sexual contact with her. The sexual abuse continued for approximately three years, until Driver told her mother and others of the sexual abuse. Conley then told Driver that he hated her, that she had ruined his life and his marriage, and that he would do everything in his power to ruin her life, including making copies of videotapes he had surreptitiously made of some of their sexual encounters and sending them to Driver’s mother, boyfriend, family and school. Instead of fulfilling his threat, Conley sued Driver for defamation. Driver counterclaimed for assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Finding for Driver, the jury found that Driver should recover $150,000 in damages for assault and $150,000 in damages for intentional infliction of emotional distress. Conley appealed. HOLDING:Affirmed. Conley’s first point of error charges the evidence was legally and factually insufficient to sustain the jury’s award of damages for assault. Conley argues that Driver did not present evidence of mental anguish, and thus, there was no evidence to support the jury’s award of damages. The court disagrees and finds that there is a significant amount of evidence to support damages for assault. The court points out that after the first time Conley touched Driver sexually, she felt betrayed and went to her room and cried. As a result, Driver attempted suicide twice the first time at age 13 or 14, by cutting her wrists, and again at around age 15, by taking pills. The court also notes that she was distressed when her mother did not believe her about the sexual abuse by Conley. The court also emphasizes Driver’s belief that her recovery from the sexual abuse will be a lifelong process. Conley next complains the evidence was legally and factually insufficient to support the jury’s award of damages for Conley’s intentional infliction of emotional distress on Driver. Conley argues that intentional infliction of emotional distress requires a showing that the emotional distress at issue is so severe that no reasonable person could be expected to endure it. The court again disagreed and emphasized that Conley’s threats to ruin Driver’s life and to publicize videotapes of their sexual activity especially evinces Conley’s intent to control or harm Driver. The court noted that Conley threatened to mail the tapes to various people, demonstrating a pattern of trying to control Driver by these threats. Conley’s third point of error complains the trial court erred in entering judgment for damages for liability on the two causes of action, which he claims were mutually exclusive. But the court held that the statutory requirements had been met for the jury’s damages award because the damages for intentional infliction of emotional distress came from Conley’s actions, which were separate and apart from his assaultive behavior; those separate actions intentionally inflicted emotional distress on Driver or were likely to produce that result in her; and those separate actions were extreme and outrageous as a matter of law, either being or bordering on criminal behavior. The court therefore concludes that sufficient evidence supports the assault damages and the damages for intentional infliction of emotional distress, and that there was no error in awarding damages for both. OPINION:Josh R. Morriss III, C.J.; Morriss, C.J., Ross and Carter, JJ.

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