BOSTON (AP) — A federal judge has ordered a former dean of a Boston high school known affectionately to students as “Rev” to pay more than $10 million in damages to a former student he was convicted of attempting to kill in a dispute. about drug sales.
Friday’s default judgment against former English High School Dean Shaun Harrison includes $7.5 million in damages for pain, suffering and emotional distress; $2.5 million in punitive damages; and more than $80,000 for the victim’s medical bills.
harrison was convicted in state court in 2018 of assault and other charges, and sentenced to up to 26 years in prison.
Harrison, who had a background as a community organizer and youth minister, was an academic dean, a job that required keeping order and advising students, according to trial testimony.
But he led a double life, authorities said. He had ties to the violent Latin Kings gang, recruited students to sell him drugs, and kept a gun in his apartment.
Harrison denied the charges, telling a Boston television station that he “never lived a double life.”
The victim, who had been recruited by Harrison to sell marijuana, was 17 years old when he was shot in the back of the head at close range on a snowy Boston street in March 2015.
The bullet barely hit the victim’s brainstem and carotid artery, but shattered his jaw. He underwent two surgeries, had his jaw wired shut for nine months, remains paralyzed in half his face, suffers from facial neuropathy, hearing loss and requires eyelid weights to help him open and close his eyes, documents show. judicial. He continues to experience pain from the bullet that remains lodged in his head and has developed an addiction to prescription opioids for pain.
No attorney for Harrison was listed in the civil case filed by the victim in 2019.
It’s unclear if the victim will ever receive any money from Harrison.
“The sentence against Mr. Harrison as an individual will ensure that he can never benefit from any efforts when he is released from prison, including the sale of the rights to this story for publication,” the plaintiff’s attorney, John Martin, said in an email. Saturday.
Boston Public Schools was also named as a defendant, but the judge dismissed the claims against the system and that ruling is being appealed, Martin said.
“Boston Public Schools had an absolute disregard for student safety and was grossly reckless when it allowed a predator to hold a position of trust and authority at that school after multiple incidents that should have resulted in his termination,” he wrote.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION