De Anza rape case settlements made public

May 9, 2011 5:47:54 PM PDT
The young woman at the center of the so-called De Anza College rape case has been able to win multi-million dollar settlements with two of the men.

The settlements in the civil case have been kept secret until now. The young woman who originally accused nine De Anza baseball players of gang rape in March of 2007, entered into four settlement agreements; two of them became public record Monday. Each is in the amount of $2.3 million. One against defendant Stephen Rebagliati and another against a second ballplayer, Luis Cardenas.

"With Mr. Cardenas, the evidence showed that he was more actively assaulting and Mr. Rebagliati, it was his home, he was serving the liquor, he was in the room," said plaintiff's attorney Barbara Spector.

Here's where the stipulated judgments are a little complicated -- the young woman and her attorneys won't be going after the defendants themselves for the money, but rather their insurance companies.

It turns out the liability clause in homeowners insurance can come into play in these types of civil cases. Robert Chiles, the attorney for Rebagliati, says that's where this case would have gone anyway if a civil jury went against his client.

"She would have still had to go against the insurance company to get assets because it's unlikely that he would have had the assets to pay that kind of judgment," said Chiles

Ultimately, the civil jury did find in favor of the two remaining defendants in the case, but it was not a unanimous decision. The attorney for one of the defendants that settled says this was a case with no winners

"This has been haunting them for a good four years and I think it's going to continue to haunt some of them for a long time," said Chiles.

"At the end of the day, I would hope to collect on these judgments on behalf of the client," said Spector.

Santa Clara County's district attorney says he's conducting a thorough re-evaluation of the case and will know by late September if any criminal charges will be filed.

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