07:37, August 20 61 0 abajournal.com

2018-08-20 07:37:07
Judge refuses to allow statutory rapist to share in settlement for son’s wrongful death

A Wisconsin judge has ruled that an absentee father whose son was conceived with his 15-year-old cousin is not entitled to share in an $837,000 settlement for the son’s wrongful death.

Judge David Borowski or Milwaukee County said on Wednesday that he would not permit “a six-figure windfall” to 53-year-old Marcus Crumble of California, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports in a story noted by News Cut, a blog of Minnesota Public Radio.

Crumble’s son, Brandon Johnson, died at age 25 at a county mental health facility in 2012. He had entered the facility unable to walk and was diagnosed with “delusional paralysis.” But his injuries weren’t delusional; he died from blood clots and blunt force trauma.

Milwaukee agreed to pay a $1.4 million settlement. After attorney fees, $837,000 was left for Johnson’s estate. Johnson didn’t have a wife or children, and he didn’t have a will. By law, his estate would normally go to his parents, according to the Journal Sentinel.

But Johnson’s mother had suggested Crumble shouldn’t share in the money because he was 21 and she was 15 when he sexually assaulted her, he didn’t help raise their son, and he only paid a few months of child support.

Borowski said that giving Johnson half of the settlement money would among to unjust enrichment, according to the Journal Sentinel account.

“Under the tragic facts and circumstances of this case, including the fact that Mr. Crumble committed both statutory rape and incest, this court will not allow a six-figure windfall to be awarded to Mr. Crumble.”

Borowski said Crumble could be reimbursed for the money he spent on Johnson’s funeral, and the rest of his claimed half of the money should be set aside in case of appeal.