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Posts Tagged "background"

Background Checks Often Not Enough To Stop Child Sexual Abuse

Posted by on Jul 30, 2014 in Child Sexual Abuse, Recent News

Background Checks Often Not Enough To Stop Child Sexual Abuse

Close Supervision and Monitoring Needs To Be Done, Too. Organizations and entities that serve children can be responsible for child sexual abuse — even if they perform their own seemingly vigorous background checks. This simple truth hit home with me as I read a recent article published on the Orlando Sentinel website detailing how Sylvester Johnson, a 62-year-old worker at the Boys and Girls Club of Kissimmee was recently arrested on accusations of lewd and lascivious battery on three young girls in the program. Apparently Mr. Johnson allegedly made several sexually suggestive comments to girls in the program, and allegedly grabbed once of the girls’ buttocks.  He also allegedly took a young girl into a closet and fondled her in exchange for candy money, and told another young girl that he wished he was younger so that he could date her. Boys and Girls Club officials were very quick to state that they ran a very vigorous background check on Mr. Johnson when they originally hired him, as well as recently as a month ago. As a Florida child sexual abuse attorney, I have to wonder why a recent background check was conducted on Mr. Johnson.  Was there some concern about Mr. Johnson, individually?  Was there some concern within the organization that there was a potential sexual abuser on staff? Second, many organizations seem to think that a thorough background check is enough, but it isn’t.  Organizations that cater to children also have a duty to remain vigilant in terms of monitoring and supervising all adults who are placed in contact with the children that they work with.  Sexual predators and child sexual abusers are often very skilled at hiding their prior activities and backgrounds. There are actually websites and other resources available to pedophiles and child predators that tell them how to prepare for a background check.  Experience tells us that these folks generally cannot help themselves and will abuse again and again. Typically these folks have less opportunity to do so if they’re being very closely monitored or watched by their employers. Background checks are essential, but they are not the end-all-be-all. If you have any questions regarding a Florida child sexual abuse case, call Winter Park personal injury attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at 407-254-4901, or visit...

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Parents At Kissimmee’s Mavericks Charter School Need To Ask About Teacher Sexual Abuse

Posted by on Oct 14, 2013 in Child Sexual Abuse

Parents At Kissimmee’s Mavericks Charter School Need To Ask About Teacher Sexual Abuse

Local Orlando media was ablaze yesterday with stories about Wayne Brown, a 34-year old teacher at Mavericks High School in Kissimmee who allegedly admitted to an explicit relationship with a 16-year old Mavericks student. Apparently, law enforcement was tipped-off by Mr. Brown’s wife, who found inappropriate naked photographs of the 16-year old girl on Mr. Brown’s cell phone.  Investigators told local media they believe there are other child victims. As an Orlando child sexual abuse attorney, and parent of four children, I think it would be reasonable for every parent at Mavericks to carefully question their children in order to determine whether Mr. Brown said or did anything inappropriate or provocative to them at school, or even during an extracurricular activity.  Because Mr. Brown was also identified as a minister, I would also question the youth of his church – particularly if he were involved in the youth ministry. Unfortunately, child sexual abusers are rarely one-time actors, and usually have a pattern of abuse or provocative or risky behavior. If I was a parent at Mavericks, and my child had been abused by Mr. Brown, I would want to immediately get my child into specialized sexual abuse counseling. I would then definitely want to know everything Mavericks did to screen or background check Mr. Brown, and would also want to know how much supervision was being provided to Mr. Brown in his interaction with Mavericks students.  If Mavericks did not perform an adequate background check, or was not monitoring Mr. Brown appropriately, Mavericks could be liable for the damages suffered by any sexual abuse victims of Mr. Brown. If you have any questions regarding a Florida child sexual abuse case, call Winter Park personal injury attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at 407-254-4901.  ...

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Insurance Companies Often Add Insult To Injury Of Child Sexual Abuse Victims

Posted by on Jul 24, 2013 in Child Sexual Abuse

Insurance Companies  Often Add Insult To Injury Of Child Sexual Abuse Victims

I saw a piece in the Kansas City Business Journal regarding child sexual abuse cases that I thought might be informative for anyone considering bringing a claim against an institutional defendant for child sexual abuse. Institutional defendants is a term I use to describe organizations who provide services to children, and who are supposed to screen, background check, and supervise the adults they put in contact with those children. The Business Journal article chronicled efforts by Chicago Insurance Co. to avoid having to provide liability insurance coverage to the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City for tens of millions of dollars in settlements the Diocese agreed to pay as a result of rampant sexual abuse committed by Diocese priests. According to the story, Chicago Ins. is using a tactic often utilized by insurance companies here in Florida. In cases involving sexual abuse, insurance companies often try to avoid having to pay victims based upon arguments that the sexual abuse injuries are not “personal injuries” under the language of the insurance policy, or that claims are excluded as “assaults and batteries.” Child sexual abuse victims need to understand that they are often going to face two major battles on the way to trying to win the war of recovering compensation. The first battle will be proving that the abuse happened, and how and why it happened. The second (and perhaps more difficult) battle is figuring out how to actually recover damages. Unfortunately, these battles often leave child sexual abuse victims feeling even more violated. This is a crying shame (oftentimes, literally.) If you have questions regarding a Florida child sexual abuse case, call Winter Park personal injury attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at...

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