Millions awarded to rape victim’s family

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A federal court jury awarded $8.5 million Wednesday to the family of a student who was repeatedly raped by a former Rutherford County school teacher.

"We’ll get no money from this," said Murfreesboro attorney Jeff Cox, who represents the family. "What I hope we see happen from this is that the public will understand the danger to our children if we do nothing."

The former teacher, Steven Craig Fults, is serving a 45-year-prison sentence for raping the former student.

He first met the victim when the boy was an eighth-grader at Barfield, a K-8 school in Murfreesboro.

The molestation didn’t begin until the student moved to Riverdale High School.

The family hopes the verdict, which was $2 million more than what it asked for, will propel the legislature to toughen up background checks on teachers.