$5.5M Suit Settled Over Wrongful Child Molestation Charges

Kern County's Insurance Company Settled Lawsuit

The Kern County Board of Supervisors approved a settlement in the case of a man wrongly convicted for child molestation in the early 1980s.

The board approved a $5.5 million settlement with John Stoll and his attorney's on Tuesday.

Stoll was one of dozens charged in the early '80s for alleged roles in child molestation rings.

Stoll was found to be wrongly convicted and freed in 2004 after serving nearly 20 years in prison, when several of his alleged victims said they lied.

He filed a $50 million federal lawsuit against the county several months after being released in early May 2004.

County officials say the settlement was reached between the county's insurance company and Stoll's attorney.

"The insurance company was really responsible for paying it," Supervisor Ray Watson said. "And their attorneys felt that the negotiated settlement they had with the plaintiff was the proper thing to do."

Even though the settlement was not negotiated by the county, the Board of Supervisors still had to approve the settlement legally.

The $5.5 million will not come from county coffers, rather from the insurance company.

While officials said they can finally put this case to rest, there is still more potential litigation as Stoll's co-defendant Grant Self is apparently contemplating a lawsuit as well.

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