The Sotloff family filed a lawsuit Monday that asks Syria for $90 million in compensatory damages along with up to $270 million in punitive damages.

First reported by the Associated Press, the Sotloff family claims the Syrian government, headed by President Bashar Assad, supported the ISIS militants who killed Sotloff. The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Sotloff's sister, mother and father, claims that Syria provided the militants with monetary, military and material support.

Sotloff, a former UCF student and Future reporter, was beheaded by Islamic militants on Sept. 2, 2014 after being kidnapped in 2013 while crossing the Syria-Turkey border. Sotloff was 31 years old when he was killed.

Syria has not yet responded to the lawsuit, but the death of Steven Sotloff is still making waves.

In November 2015, Sotloff's parents, Shirley and Arthur Sotloff, visited the university to speak about their son and his life.

“Realize that what you’re doing is a contribution to society. That people are depending on you to know what’s going on in the world, and it’s up to you … to report what’s going on … like Steven did,” Arthur Sotloff said in a previous Future article. “He was reporting things that no one else was reporting. He wanted to bring that to the surface. He wanted to let people know that people were suffering all over the world.”

The Steven Sotloff Memorial Endowed Fund at UCF was created by the Sotloff family nine months after Steven's death and aims to support students majoring in journalism as well as to advance journalism education.


Alissa Smith is the News Editor for the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter at @thealissasmith or email her at

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