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A Florida lottery winner (and registered sex offender) is being sued by his alleged victims.
Timothy Poole opted to take about $2.2 million in a lump sum after purchasing a winning Florida Lottery ticket earlier this month. According to Orlando's WKMG-TV, Poole also is also being sued by two brothers who claim he abused them when they were children.
Can these alleged victims get a chunk of Poole's lotto winnings?
Poole doesn't exactly have a spotless criminal record. According to the Orlando Sentinel, Poole has been arrested in Florida a dozen times, has served two separate prison sentences, including a conviction for attempted sexual battery of a child under 12.
Poole has served his time, but under laws crafted in Florida and other states, he must continue to register as a sex offender. Florida maintains a comprehensive online database of these sex offenders, including photographs and the ability to search by neighborhood, which is possibly how he was identified after winning the lotto.
There aren't any laws in Florida preventing Poole or other sex offenders from either playing or receiving winnings from the lottery, but Poole may still lose his winnings in court.
The two brothers suing Poole claim that he abused them in 1996, when they were 5 and 9 years old. According to the Sentinel, their lawsuit is seeking compensation for pain, suffering, and psychological damage from the alleged abuse. Often, victims of child abuse from decades ago are prevented from suing their attackers by the statute of limitations. But these time limits on civil suits for child sex abuse vary by state.
Luckily for the two alleged victims, there is no statute of limitations in Florida for victims of sexual battery younger than 16, reports the Sentinel. The brothers allege that Poole abused them for more than a year in the late 1990s. Poole told WKMG in November that he was wrongly accused, as part of a piece on where convicted sex offenders are employed.
Hopefully this lawsuit will allow these two victims to find closure, even if it means Poole may potentially have to part with some or all of his winnings.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.