A Hennepin County jury has awarded nearly $2.1 million to two brothers who were sexually abused by the former owner and casting director of a Bloomington film company and talent agency, attorneys for the victims announced Thursday.
The judgment against Matthew David Feeney came after a three-day trial and was awarded for “past and future emotional distress and health care costs,” said Minneapolis attorney Patrick Noaker, one of two lawyers who represented the victims.
Feeney was convicted in 2013 of second-degree assault of a minor under age 13 and fourth-degree assault of a minor by a person in a position of authority. He is currently serving a nine-year prison sentence in Moose Lake.
After three hours of deliberation, the jury awarded $974,281 to John Doe 101, now 21, and $1,098,796 to John Doe 102, now 16.
“Cases like this are rarely tried,” Noaker said Thursday. “This was a very significant verdict.”
The boys were clients of Feeney’s company, Walden Entertainment, where he cast children in movie and television roles. Feeney met the boys and endeared himself to their parents and family, which allowed him to gain access to the boys from 2009 to 2011. The abuse took place at Feeney’s Cottage Grove home, court records showed.
Feeney has prior convictions for sexual abuse. He was convicted in 1992 of criminal sexual conduct in the fourth and fifth degrees stemming from cases in Aitkin County. He is currently facing one count of rape of a child, aggravated by age, and two counts of indecent assault and battery in Massachusetts.