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When restitution is a pain in the butt

There is a man in Minnesota named Peter Martel who apparently did not read through his company’s employee handbook and decided to flash a co-worker while they were at a mall two years ago.

Martel pleaded guilty to indecent exposure and was given a 30-day jail sentence and two years of probation, among other punishments. Martel also was ordered to pay more than $2,300 in restitution “to cover the costs of a colonoscopy for his victim, who had complained of ‘significant diarrhea’ in the wake of the incident,” according to our friends at Minnesota Lawyer.

Martel appealed, arguing there was no evidence the victim’s stomach problems were because of him.

Minnesota’s intermediate appellate court disagreed, finding the procedure was necessary “to rule out other potential causes for the victim’s digestive unrest,” according to Minnesota Lawyer:

Yes, the court noted, the colonoscopy didn’t turn up anything unusual. But the court said that simply strengthened the contention that Martel’s conduct — and the anxiety it produced — were at the root of the victim’s troubles.

“The goal of restitution is to restore the victim to her ‘original financial condition’ had the incident not occurred,” concluded appeals court Judge John Rodenberg. “The district court’s restitution award served that purpose.”

No word if Martel plans to take his case to Minnesota’s top court.

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