What makes this case even more horrible is that besides her abusers testifying that she has false memories, they said she had false memories because of the psychotropic drugs the doctors have had her on since she was a child. So it’s a big circle of abuse where the systems just keep pointing fingers instead of addressing the problems. The members of the church that testified were the same people that abused her. Imagine finding the strength that she did as a sex trafficking survivor, only to have the people she accused of abusing her testify that she has false memories because of the psychotropic medications the doctors keep her on.
Alicia Cohen, 41, who was awarded $1.5 million by a federal jury said in her 2019 civil lawsuit that Ronald Cohen, also known as “Rafi” and “Raphael”, began sexually abusing her when she was three years old, and then started selling her to other men for sex about two years later, when they were living in Oklahoma.
Alicia says that Ronald Cohen used his “religious facade” and “ministries,” including the nondenominational Miracle Tabernacle, as a cover for child sexual abuse and child sex trafficking and that he filmed and sold videos of her being raped.
Ronald Cohen denied the claims as “false, frivolous, and defamatory” and was “shocked at the verdict” defense attorney Dan Boyce said Friday. Cohen asked Boyce to file a motion for judgment in his favor, or a motion for a new trial.
Attorney Dan Boyce He also said Cohen is in his 70s and depends on Social Security, and that he is “judgment proof” based on his finances. Dan Stephenson, Alicia Cohen’s attorney, said the case was not about money, but about holding Ronald Cohen accountable. “The central issue in the case was whether the defendant raped his daughter repeatedly for years as a child. The jury clearly said ‘yes’ and awarded both compensatory and punitive damages”.
“Due to the actions of defendant, plaintiff has suffered extreme mental, physical, psychological, and emotional trauma. She has spent an enormous amount of time and money seeing doctors, psychiatrists, counselors, and other therapists.”
The jury did not rule in Alicia’s favor on the sex trafficking charge and Boyce says that the judge refused to allow an expert defense witness to offer an opinion that Alicia Cohen’s memories from 30 years ago were false.
Cohen disagrees with the outcome saying, “We brought a mountain of evidence including objective, medical, and admitted facts. We had treaters, treater records, and expert witnesses supporting what Alicia said.” Alicia claims that her father ran a sex trafficking ring in the 1980s.
The Pike Creek pastor Ronald Cohen, and his friends testified saying “Entirely false.” “Not an iota of truth.” “Absolutely preposterous.” “Never happened.” And denied any existence of a child sex trafficking ring.
The half-dozen of those who were accused, and one woman who Alicia Cohen claimed was a victim testified that the accusations were untrue and the trafficking never occurred, and apparently, even though the jury believed that Alica was sexually assaulted and abused, they did not believe that all of those people were part of the sex trafficking ring that Alicia claims they are.
The federal jury found Ron Cohen liable on five of 14 counts: sexual abuse of a minor, assault or battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress and false imprisonment.
The jury did not find Ron Cohen liable for nine other charges under federal, New Jersey and Florida law, and two other states where Alicia Cohen alleges she was raped.
Alicia said that she was “grateful” for the verdict and the work of her legal team, as well as “the people who have supported” her. “This verdict will help me to heal and move forward. It redirects my focus from the past to the future. I don’t feel stuck anymore”.