(Minneapols, Minnesota) A Hennepin County jury awarded two victims of sexual abuse by local Casting Director Matthew Feeney, $2,073,078.04 for past and future emotional distress and health care costs. The verdict came at the end of a three-day jury trial held in Hennepin County District Court in front of Hon. Thomas Sipkins. Minneapolis attorney Patrick Noaker and St. Cloud attorney Michael Bryant represented the plaintiffs during the trial.
During closing arguments in the case, attorney Noaker acknowledged that sometimes child sexual abusers are often difficult to identify because they possess personality traits, like being funny, silly and warm, that appeal to children without raising suspicion of their parents. That is how Matthew Feeney was able to gain access to these boys.
During the trial, the two boys testified that they were aspiring child actors who met Matthew Feeney when auditioned for parts in movies and commercials that were being produced in Minnesota. After that, Feeney endeared himself to the boys’ parents and other siblings, soon attending family birthday parties and school plays. The boys testified that Feeney’s invasion of their family prevented the boys from being able to tell anyone about the sexual abuse.
Once the boys told their mother about the abuse, attorney Bryant confirmed “this mother did exactly what she was supposed to do, she called the police and got help for the boys.” Matthew Feeney was criminally convicted of sexually abusing both boys in 2014, and he is now serving a prison sentence for his crimes. “Only half of the job has been done,” Noaker argued, “Matthew Feeney is in prison where he cannot hurt any more children, but we still have two very injured boys here. We need to complete the circle and return a verdict that will insure that these boys get the help that they need and deserve in the future.”
After three and a half hours of deliberations, the jury returned a Special Verdict awarding twenty one year-old John Doe 101 the amount of $974,281.05 and sixteen year-old John Doe 102 the amount of $1,098,796.99.