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A jury has found that the founder of the multimillion-dollar real estate business Kobeissi Properties in La Canada-Flintridge sexually abused his cousins when they were children and awarded the now-adult brothers more than $12 million each for past and future pain and suffering.

The Burbank Superior Court jury reached its verdict on July 28 in the case brought by the plaintiffs against Mike Kobeissi, who came to the United States from Lebanon as a teenager in 1982. While staying with his uncle Hussein Kobeissi, the businessman allegedly began to sexually abuse the two brothers by going into their rooms late at night for more than a decade.

Kobeissi married the siblings’ older sister, who is the businessman’s own first cousin, in order to more easily continue the molestation, the plaintiffs alleged in the suit brought in October 2018 alleging sexual battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Defense attorney Jerry Kaplan said Monday that the vote in favor of the plaintiffs was 9-3 and that the dissenters believed nothing happened to the brothers.

“We think it’s a miscarriage of justice,” Kaplan said. “We’re going to appeal and do everything we can to turn it around.”

Kobeissi himself posted a statement on Instagram about the verdict, saying he and his family are “devastated by the recent news going around. I vehemently deny any type of the behavior that are alleged by our cousins… It is very simple, these events did not happen.”

To keep Brad and Dan from reporting the abuse, Mike would try to convince them it was normal activity and shower them with gifts, the plaintiffs allege. He also would claim he was teaching them how sex with women worked and that “you just need to release it once in a while,” according to the plaintiffs.

Mike also would lavish them with expensive video games, toy cars, and other presents that young boys their age found exciting, the plaintiffs maintained.

The plaintiffs did not fully realize what had happened to them as children until they were adults, according to the plaintiffs’ court papers.

“These cases are about holding the abusers responsible, keeping them from raping and molesting others, and hopefully helping the survivors find some level of closure,” said plaintiffs’ attorney Alexander Gamez.

“Don’t suffer in silence,” added fellow plaintiffs’ lawyer Raymond P. Boucher, who won landmark verdicts against the archdioceses of Los Angeles and San Diego for child sex abuse. “I’ve worked with so many sexual abuse and assault survivors that I know it’s vital to seek help. If you want to take legal action, California passed a special law that partially expires at the end of this year allowing adult survivors of childhood abuse to file civil suits.”

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