Parking Garage Rape Victim Awarded $6.6M

A woman who was brutally attacked and raped in a Boston hotel parking garage has been granted $6.6 million.

Kira Wahlstrom of Haverhill, Massachusetts, said she was exiting an elevator at the Radisson Hotel parking garage in 2009 when she was dragged screaming to a stairwell then beaten and raped. She filed a lawsuit alleging that JPA, which owned the hotel and parking garage, and LAZ parking, were negligent in protecting her.

"I just did what I did because it was right. My name is not Jane, I was raped. It's not my fault I didn't ask for it," Wahlstrom said, sharing her story because she wants other victims to know they are not alone.

Wahlstrom won her case Tuesday against JPA. Ultimately, the jury awarded her a total of $6.6 million. For her, it's a step toward closure in a horrific chapter of her life.

"I have so many mental disorders now because of being raped. I have post traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression. These are things that no one talks about," Wahlstrom said.

Wahlstrom said she learned another woman had been raped in the same garage by the same man 12 days earlier. Customers of the garage were never notified.

"We now have a safer community because of the jury's verdict. The jury's verdict talks about deterrence; jury's verdict talks about accountability, holding those responsible for their actions," said David Hoey, Wahlstrom's attorney.

Now Wahlstrom, a mother of two, is moving forward. She will continue to focus on the positive things in her life, but it will always be a struggle.

"You have to live with it for the rest of your life," she said. "It's changed not only my life, but my children's lives. It's changed everything."

The man who raped Wahlstrom is serving a 15-year prison sentence.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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