US child molester sued to buy victim's house

2013-03-22 08:00
Court.

Court. (Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Allentown - The parents of a young Pennsylvania girl who was sexually molested by their neighbour have sued the man in a bid to force him to buy their house.

The child's parents said they don't want to live next to Oliver Beck and "are under duress to move". Their lawsuit, filed in Lehigh County Court in Allentown, said his presence is "ultra-hazardous given the close proximity" of Beck to the victim and their two other daughters.

Beck, 65, pleaded guilty in September 2011 to indecent assault of a child under 13 and was sentenced to three to 23 months in prison. After his release, he moved back to his home near Emmaus, north of Philadelphia.

The suit contends the plaintiff's house is now "virtually unmarketable" because their neighbour is a registered sex offender. They want Beck to buy their house for $350 000, which they say is the fair-market value plus fees and expenses related to moving to a new home.

Beck's lawyer has asked a judge to dismiss that portion of the suit, saying the law does not entitle the plaintiffs to force Beck to buy their home.

Legal precedent


The family, identified by their initials, bought the house in 2005. The lawsuit said Beck befriended the couple and groomed the girl with gifts and rides on a four-wheeler, then molested her in his basement, videotaping the 2 February 2011 assault. The girl, who was born in 2003, told her mother and the attack was reported to authorities.

In response to the family's demand for compensation for their home, attorney Robert Magee cited a 1998 state appeals court ruling that said a plaintiff who lived next to a toxic-waste site couldn't collect damages from an inability to sell the home.

Legal precedent has established that "this is just a type of injury that allows for no recourse, an injury without a remedy", Magee wrote in court papers filed last week.

Magee declined comment on Thursday. Attorneys for the plaintiffs did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The parents and child are also suing Beck for monetary damages related to the assault. Beck's wife and mother, who owns an adjoining property, are named as co-defendants.
Read more on:    us

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.