Former California Horse Trainer Ordered to Pay $9 Million in Damages for Alleged Sexual Assault and Drugging
In a recent legal development, a former horse trainer in Northern California, Ari Herbertson, has been mandated to pay $9 million in damages after facing accusations of sexual assault from a woman. The incident occurred during his employment at Golden Gates Fields in Berkeley.
Initially charged with sexual battery, forcible sexual penetration, and assault with intent to commit a sex crime, Herbertson’s legal proceedings took a turn with a plea deal resulting in the dropping of these charges, as reported by FOX 2 San Francisco. However, the suspect did face charges of assault with a deadly weapon related to the incident and entered a no-contest plea. He was subsequently sentenced to one year in jail and two years of probation, according to information provided by the East Bay Times.
The victim, a former law enforcement officer, accused Herbertson of surreptitiously adding a date rape drug to her mimosa at Golden Gate Fields in January 2019. Recounting her experience, she claimed to have felt “instantly intoxicated” after consuming a small sip of the drink. Subsequent to the drugging, Herbertson, along with another individual, allegedly took the woman to a nearby field where the sexual assault occurred, as documented in court records.
During the legal proceedings, the victim revealed that she utilized her police training to preserve evidence from the assault. In a decisive ruling, Judge Jeffrey Brand expressed his conviction in the suspect’s guilt, stating that it is “more probable than not.” As a consequence, the judge ordered Herbertson to pay a substantial $9 million in damages.
California horse trainer ordered to pay millions to woman he allegedly raped, drugged https://t.co/WXkdmGktrf
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In the official court order, Judge Brand highlighted the profound impact of the assault on the victim, noting her ongoing concerns about the safety of beverages purchased in public spaces. The victim disclosed that she intentionally gained approximately 50 pounds in an effort to make herself less attractive, expressing fear of potential future assaults. Additionally, she reported experiencing memory loss, characterized as ‘holes’ in her brain, further underscoring the gravity of the lasting repercussions.