Skip to content
Name: People v. O’Neal
Case #: B165551
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 09/23/2004

Appellant was convicted of molesting his girlfriend’s daughter. At sentencing, the court ordered appellant to pay restitution for not only the daughter’s counseling, but also for her twelve-year-old son’s counseling, as the minor had an emotional reaction to the abuse of his sister. Appellant claimed on appeal that the trial court erred by ordering him to pay for the brother’s counseling. The appellate court found the issue waived, as appellant had not raised it at sentencing. However, the court also held that on the merits, the result would be the same. Compensation is not restricted to physical injuries. The trial court could infer from the brother’s statements at sentencing that the emotional damage caused was not limited to his sister. A court may properly order restitution for mental health counseling expenses for a victim or derivative victim, an individual who suffers a pecuniary loss (i.e., the cost of counseling) as a result of injury to the victim.