Martinez man found guilty of 2011 sexual battery of Antioch woman
According to a news release from Cartwright, Scruggs, Fulton & Walther, the lawyers for Antioch resident Patricia Rhyne, late this week, a Contra Costa jury ordered an 83-year-old Martinez man, Dale Christiansen, to pay $530,000 for committing a 2011 sexual battery on the 48-year-old Rhyne. The award included $77,000 in punitive damages.
The jury found that Mr. Christiansen made a lewd comment and touched Ms. Rhyne’s breast over her t-shirt in 2011 when she went to his home to confront him regarding his sexual molestation of her as a child.
At trial, Mr. Christiansen denied that he had molested Ms. Rhyne as a child, and denied that he had acted in an inappropriate way in 2011. His wife and grown daughter, who were in the home at the time of the 2011 sexual battery, supported Mr. Christiansen’s version of events.
“I could not be more grateful to the jury for seeing the truth”, said Ms. Rhyne after the verdict. “I hope that I can finally move on with my life now that Mr. Christiansen has been labeled what he truly is, a sex criminal.”
Mr. Rhyne’s attorney, Dana Scruggs, described his client’s journey this way, “Patricia’s courage in coming forward to tell her story to a jury after 40 years should be an inspiration to all survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Even though this case only addressed Mr. Christiansen’s sexual misconduct in 2011, Patricia had to endure questioning about her entire life story, and I believe her bravery was an inspiration to everyone in the courtroom.”
Until recently, Mr. Christiansen was a resident of Clayton, California for almost 50 years. His family owned a number of bars on Clayton Road in Concord.