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LAUSD Ordered To Pay $6M To 2 Boys Molested By Telfair Teacher

LOS ANGELES ( — Two teenage boys were each awarded more than $3 million Thursday from Los Angeles Unified as compensation for being sexually abused in elementary school by a former teacher.

It took less than a day for a jury reached the verdict. The district had previously admitted liability for the actions of ex-Telfair Avenue Elementary School third-grade teacher Paul Chapel III.

The trial addressed only the amount of damages the boys, now ages 14 and 13, should receive.

A total of $3.1 million was awarded to the 14-year-old, and $3,085,700 to the younger boy. Most of the money will cover their past and future pain and suffering, which was assessed at $2.75 million each.

"We are so grateful that these members of the community saw the case the way we did," the plaintiff's attorney, John Manly, said.

Attorney Craig Barnes, arguing on behalf of the district, said there was no dispute that there was abuse, but that each of the boys should receive less than $500,000.

The younger boy was a student of Chapel's. The older child had a different teacher, but visited Chapel's Pacoima classroom often, saying he was enticed by Chapel's offerings of his favorite candies.

The molestations of the two plaintiffs took place within the time period of 2009-11.

Chapel, now 54, is serving a 25-year sentence imposed in 2012, after he pleaded no contest to molesting 13 boys during a roughly 4 1/2-year period.

The LAUSD previously reached a $5 million settlement with another group of former Telfair students in June 2014 and $4.42 million with three more former students in May.

(©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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