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Child Sexual Abuse

Was Volusia School Blind To Child Sexual Abuse?

Posted by on Oct 11, 2015 in Child Sexual Abuse

Was Volusia School Blind To Child Sexual Abuse?

Any organization whose primary mission is to serve children — including elementary schools — owes every child involved in the organization a duty to protect those children from sexual abuse. This should not be a matter up for debate. This is why I so shocked to see a story on the local News 13 website describing a child sexual abuse situation at Champion Elementary School in Daytona Beach in Volusia County. As a Florida child sex abuse attorney, the story here is, unfortunately, all too familiar.  A little girl comes home and complains of pain while using the restroom.  A concerned parent at first thinks little of it, but then begins to dig a little further.  Finally, the little girl admits that somebody touched her (or worse) where they shouldn’t have. In this instance, it appears that the abuse occurred on school property — in a classroom and in the lunchroom.  How in the world this could happen during a school day — when adults are supposed to be closely supervising children — is beyond me. Nevertheless, even if it was an “innocent mistake,” the impact to this child will likely be devastating.  Statistically, this precious little girl will now face a lifetime of significant, perhaps insurmountable mental and physical health challenges.  This is the reality faced by most child sex abuse victims. Organizations that cater to children – such as schools, youth sports programs, and child mentoring programs — can be held liable for money damages when they do not adequately protect kids from sexual abuse.  Money from these kinds of claims can be used to get specialized care for victims. If you have any questions regarding a potential claim by a child against a youth-oriented organization, call Florida child sexual abuse attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at 407-254-4901, or visit our website for helpful information by clicking...

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Did Orlando High School Have Reason To Know Security Guard Was Molesting Child On School Grounds?

Posted by on May 5, 2015 in Child Sexual Abuse, Uncategorized

A security guard for Evans High School in Orlando didn’t return to work this week – but it’s unclear exactly why, and what can be done about it. Patrick Leonard Collins was arrested last week and charged with lewd and lascivious molestation of a child and possession of child pornography.  Unfortunately, local media reports (here and here, for example) are contradictory in terms of whether Mr. Collins was abusing a male or female student, but it is clear that the child was a student at Evans High School, Mr. Collins performed a security function there, and that at least one of the abusive acts occurred on the actual premises of the school.  Apparently, Mr. Collins also traded nude photographs with the student, thus the charge he received for child pornography. Channel 6’s clickorlando.com website is reporting that, while Mr. Collins was working at Evans High School, he was actually employed by a company called Uniform Security Guard. This bit of information raises an interesting legal issue for a Florida child sexual attorney like me.  While Evans High School officials might be held liable to the student for its failure to monitor and supervise Mr. Collins while he was on school property, any civil claims for money damage brought against the high school or Orange County Schools would likely be subject to the State’s sovereign immunity statutory cap of $200,000.00. However, because Mr. Collins was actually employed by a private company, there is certainly a strong legal argument that the statutory caps would not apply Mr. Collin’s actions.  This could allow the victim to collect more than the State statutory cap – depending upon the victim’s damages. Child sex abuse cases in Florida are always difficult. There is almost always a multitude of legal issues to be addressed and solved before compensation for a child sexual abuse victim can be secured.  The case against Mr. Collins, Orange County Schools, and Uniform Security Guard, seems like no exception. If you have any questions regarding a Florida child sexual abuse case, or how damages might be calculated in a Florida child molestation case, please call Winter Park child sexual abuse attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at 407-254-4901, or visit our website at...

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Shocking Idea: Your Child Molested In A Florida Classroom

Posted by on Apr 22, 2015 in Child Sexual Abuse

Shocking Idea:  Your Child Molested In A Florida Classroom

I came across a news story that I thought would be worthy of sharing.  Central Florida News 13 was reporting about new sex abuse charges leveled against a former classroom teacher, Anthony Silva. Mr. Silva used to be a teacher at Renaissance Charter School in Orange County, until one of his former co-workers called 911 to report that Mr. Silva was inappropriately touching students and simulating sex with them.  He was originally charged, and put in jail. Now, Mr. Silva faces new charges of lewd and lascivious molestation, as well as false imprisonment of a child.  Apparently, the false imprisonment charges stem from some of Mr. Silva’s activities with students inside his own classroom. Of course, Mr. Silva is innocent in the eyes of the law, until he is proven to be guilty.  However, it is not often that these types of cases are instigated by co-workers.  Typically, child abusers are more careful and secretive about their activities with young children. If sexually abusive acts did occur on school grounds, then the Renaissance Charter School may face civil liability for money damages in favor of the injured students.  Institutions like schools owe children a duty to supervise the adults the school place in front of the children every day.  Schools should be allowing environments to exist where abuse can occur on the school’s campus. We were recently able to achieve a significant recovery for a client who was sexually abused by his Sunday School teacher in the church offices, during a Sunday church service.  The church really had no explanation for how that could happen. If you have any questions regarding sexual abuse allegations involving a school or church, call Florida child sexual abuse attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at...

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