A Dallas woman who was sexually assaulted in 2011 by the owner of a popular Addison restaurant was awarded $21.43 million Thursday.
Ajredin “Danny” Deari is the owner of Pastazios Pizza. He served the then-18-year-old victim multiple rounds of beer and whiskey under the pretext of a job interview.
The victim, identified as “Jane Doe,” eventually passed out and awoke to find she was being sexually assaulted by Deari in a nearby hotel room.
Physical examinations determined that Deari infected the victim with herpes during the assault.
Judge Carl Ginsberg said that the evidence presented was the most offensive set of facts he had ever seen during his time on the bench.
After a four-day bench trial, Ginsberg awarded the victim $21.43 million.
“This young woman has been waiting for justice for four long years, and she’s fought very hard to make sure that every business owner is aware of the consequences of their actions,” said co-counsel Royce West.
Deari pleaded no contest to criminal charges and has filed for business and personal bankruptcy protection.
“The reason he quote unquote said he decided to accept the plea is because he didn’t want to go to the penitentiary,” said West.
West says the astounding $21.43 million judgement sends a message to business owners who would engage in wrong behavior.
“That not only will there be criminal responsibility if the acts are criminal, but they will be held liable in civil courts just as they'll be held liable in criminal courts,” said West.
Court documents show the young woman, who was valedictorian of her high school, also had rohypnol, or a “roofie,” in her bloodstream.
Calls to attorneys for Pastazios Pizza were not returned
The TABC took the restaurant's beer and wine license.