A family's worst nightmare finally came to end this week in a Palm Beach courtroom.
This six-year ordeal started on January 16, 2007 when a mentally disabled girl, just 3 and a half years old, was sexually attacked by a high schooler, 15, on a school bus, according to The Sun Sentinel.
Video from the bus shows the attacker J.C. Carter did not actually take off his pants. However Detective Vinny Mintus, a retired officer, testified at the civil trial that he was guilty of at the very least inappropriate touching.
'That was probably one of the most horrible, disgusting cases I have ever witnessed.'
Horror on a school bus: J.C. Carter did not testify at the civil trial of the autistic girl he allegedly raped when she was just three
Carter did not testify during the civil trial citing his fifth amendment right.
In this civil trial, the family of the girl - who is now a fourth grader at Pahokee Elementary, sought $3.6 million to cover medical expenses and other damages suffered. The Palm Beach County School board initially offered a $250,000 compensatory offer.
During the trial the school board admitted negligence though the bus driver and a school aide were fired after the incident.
The attorney representing the school board, Tom McCausland, took issue with the rape charges.
'There was no penetration, there was no bruising.'
A forensic psychologist, Harley Stock, also testifying on behalf of the school board, and told the court that the victim did not exhibit 'any trauma-based behaviors' since the attack.
An attorney for the girl's family urged the jurors to look past her mental disability in their deliberation
Stephan Le Clainche, the lawyer representing the family of the young girl, took issue with those claims and even called it an 'incredibly outrageous defense'.
He implored the jurors to look past the victim's autism.
After the five-day trial the jury deliberated for three hours before before coming forward with the 1.7 million figure.
Though a major victory for the victim's family, they still face hurdles.
The state of Florida actually has a limit of $100,000 that can be paid out in cases like this. La Clainche will have to argue in front of the state legislature, which can award special approval to receive the full 1.7 million.
After the trial the jurors were seen hugging the girl's mother.