SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Victims of the East Area Rapist may get the chance to seek up to $70,000 for emotional trauma and financial losses. Typically, victims would have just three years “after a crime” to file for compensation, but Joseph D’Angelo’s alleged victims would have until 2019 to apply.
“At that moment, I just was flooded with adrenaline,” said Jennifer Carole, describing the day D’Angelo was arrested. “I didn’t even stop shaking that day.”
The money for D’Angelo’s victims would be carved out of the state budget. Under Senate Bill 858, the state would provide victim compensation benefits for those who directly or indirectly suffered emotional harm or financial losses due to crimes committed by the East Area Rapist. And that includes harm incurred while preparing to testify.
“I’m actually really thrilled with the idea,” Carole said.
In March 1980, Charlene and Lyman Smith were murdered in their Ventura home. Their suspected killer: the East Area Rapist. Their daughter, Carole, was just 18 at the time.
“The first time I saw him was in the courtroom on May 14th,” she said.
It was a traumatic moment for her and fellow victims.
“Having caught him has made me think of the crime all the time, which is essentially like opening an old wound,” Carole said. “There’s a lot happening and it’s been emotional.”
She said that one of the biggest hurdles for victims is finding the resources to travel to California. And with victims all over the country, those costs add up.
“I have not asked for any money but I certainly might consider it at this time,” Carole said.
Carole says the money could also cover for counseling costs. The California Victim Compensation Board says the amount of money each victim receives will be determined on a case by case basis. The board has already gotten inquiries from 25 victims in 4 counties, including Sacramento County.
“I don’t think there is an amount of money that can replace what we all lost,” Carole said. “But if the money allows us to heal or get counseling or participate in a way that gets closure, that’s powerful.”
The bill passed the budget committees on Wednesday and goes before the full Senate and Assembly on Thursday. If it passes, it goes to the governor’s desk for a signature.