An Orange County judge ruled Friday that Timothy Poole can spend his millions, denying a request to freeze his assets by two alleged victims who are suing him for their abuse.
A convicted sex offender can spend his $3 million Florida lottery winnings any way he wants, over the protestations of two of his alleged victims, a judge ruled Friday.
Timothy Poole won the Florida Super Millions scratch-off lottery in December, taking home a lump sum of $2.2 million. Two brothers are suing Poole for psychological damages after they say he abused them when they were 5 and 9 years old in 1996.
The unidentified brothers asked the court to freeze Poole's assets before their lawsuit goes to trial so the Mount Dora native would not spend all of his winnings.
Orange County Judge Margaret Schrieber denied their request Friday morning because there is no Florida law allowing her to freeze his assets, according to WFTV.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs are working with lawmakers to change that fact, attorney Mark NeJame said.
After speaking with NeJame, Florida Sen. Darren Soto plans to propose a bill next week that would freeze the assets of convicted sex offenders who win the lottery — allowing alleged victims a year to sue them for damages.
Jason Recksiedler, another lawyer for the plaintiffs, told the Orlando Sentinel that the brothers were not surprised by the judge's ruling.
The alleged victims are less concerned about getting money than about finally getting justice, he said.
"They're just thinking about trying to hold this sexual predator responsible," Recksiedler said.
Poole spent 13 months in jail for molesting a 9-year-old boy in 1999. He was later freed and placed on sex offender probation for 10 years after accepting a plea deal.
Source: The Daily News