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Did Cerebral Palsy Organization Properly Supervise Accused Sexual Abuser?

Did Cerebral Palsy Organization Properly Supervise Accused Sexual Abuser?

Posted by on Feb 1, 2013 in Child Sexual Abuse

Clickorlando.com featured an article I recently read with some professional interest. The article detailed the recent arrest of an Ormond Beach man based upon allegations that he sexually abused a disabled woman.

While stories of bad behavior similar that alleged here seem to have become commonplace in recent years, as an Orlando sexual abuse attorney, I became more interested when I learned that the accused abuser met the disabled woman through his employment with United Cerebral Palsy.

First, I was interested to learn that, while UCP forbade staff from socializing with clients, the accused abuse freely admitted to police that he brought the victim to his home and to a restaurant. The sexual abuse allegedly occurred at the UCP worker’s house, and also in his car.

Organizations like UCP owe two main duties of care to their patients/clients. The first is to make sure that background checks are performed on any workers who are placed in positions of trust with the patients/clients. The second duty is to properly supervise every person that is placed in contact with the patient/client by the overseeing organization — and particularly if the patient/client is someone who is very vulnerable, like a child or disabled person.

As this case develops it will be interesting to see how much UCP knew about this worker from Ormond Beach when it allowed him to have access to this disabled  woman. Additionally, it will be interesting to learn how much UCP knew about this man taking this woman in his car and to his home. In my experience, these kinds of things generally don’t happen without other people knowing about it.

If an organization like UCP did not do enough to protect the victim, the organization can be held liable for negligent supervision or negligent screening or background checking, and might have to pay damages to the sexual abuse victim. Hopefully for everyone involved here, this will turn out to have been some kind of significant misunderstanding.

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