CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The family of a 10-year-old boy who was murdered when he resisted the sexual advances of two men was awarded $328 million Wednesday from his killers.
Jeffrey Curley's family has little hope of collecting any money in the wrongful death lawsuit from Salvatore Sicari and Charles Jaynes, both in prison on murder convictions. But the family has said they wanted to send a message to pedophiles that they could face civil suits, even if they avoid criminal charges.
''I'm not getting any money, they're not getting any money,'' the family's attorney Lawrence Frisoli said. ''What we're saying is this is a barometer. If you rape kids, you can be held civilly liable.''
Family members were not at the courthouse for the decision. Frisoli said they were too upset to return after testifying Tuesday. But he said they were pleased with the decision.
The Middlesex Superior Court jury deliberated after closing arguments Wednesday morning.
Frisoli introduced gruesome pieces of evidence from the case, including photos of Curley's dead body and the Rubbermaid container that held the boy's body when it was thrown into a Maine river.
Prosecutors say Sicari and Jaynes were sexually obsessed with the boy and lured him from his Cambridge neighborhood in October 1997 with the promise of a new bike. They then smothered him with a gasoline-soaked rag when he resisted their sexual advances.
The Curleys have also filed a $200 million federal lawsuit against the North American Man/Boy Love Association, claiming Jaynes was incited by the group.
Sicari didn't respond to the lawsuit and wasn't represented in court. Jaynes acknowledged the case and Judge Allan vanGestel appointed an attorney on Jaynes' behalf to ensure the hearing was fair.
The attorney, Robert Bonsignore, didn't bring forward any evidence for the defense.
The highly publicized killing renewed calls to bring back the death penalty to Massachusetts, with Jeffrey's father, Robert Curley, leading the charge. The measure failed by one vote in the Legislature in 1997.