MINNEAPOLIS – A federal jury has awarded a Twin Cities woman nearly $1 million in her civil lawsuit against a Minnesota man she says sexually assaulted her when she was 14 and living in Laos.
The jury's verdict, thought to be unprecedented in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, holds the man accountable for violating child sex trafficking laws. He was never charged criminally.
Panyia Vang, now 24, moved to the Twin Cities with her family after she became pregnant with the man's child. He's accused in court documents of threatening to keep Vang from seeing their child unless she submitted to his sexual demands. One of Vang's attorneys, Linda Miller, says she hopes it sends a strong message about the consequences for those considering travelling abroad to have sex with underage girls.