Jury awards $102 million to women abused by San Jose teacher as teens

A Santa Clara County civil jury has awarded $102 million to two women who were abused as teens by their music teacher in San Jose.

"She was a child. She was only 13 years old," said Lauren Cerri, an attorney for one of the survivors, described in court as Jane Doe 1. She and a second woman were abused by Samuel Neipp from 2010 to 2014.

The civil lawsuit named the Union School District in San Jose a defendant. Neipp was a teacher at Dartmouth Middle School, where many of the attacks happened, including in his office and the band room.

He's now serving 52 years in state prison for his abuse and threats.

"He said if you don't spend more time with me, if you keep spending time with these boys, I'm going to put these nude pictures and videos of you online," said Cerri, whose client was awarded $65 million.

Neipp was "someone who was in a position of trust and authority, a teacher at the school that she looked up to and took full advantage of her naivete, her trust," Cerri said.

Attorney Natalie Weatherford represents Jane Doe 2, who came forward after Neipp was arrested. She was awarded $37.5 million dollars after the jury determined the district failed to take action.

"All on the school's watch," Weatherford said. "Their strategy at trial was to blame everyone but themselves and they took zero responsibility during the trial."

The union school district expressed sympathy for the women.

In a statement, Superintendent Carrie Andrews said in part, "His actions were despicable. He violated the trust of his students, colleagues and our community. Sadly, the actions of one individual will have severe consequences for our school district."

The superintendent said the district intends to appeal.