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Posts Tagged "child sexual abuse"

Ignoring “Red Flags” Of Child Sex Abuse Fails Kids

Posted by on Jan 27, 2016 in Child Sexual Abuse

Ignoring “Red Flags” Of Child Sex Abuse Fails Kids

Organizations that serve children have no choice but to pay attention to “red flags” that suggest than an adult is sexually abusing a child.  Nevertheless, we continue to learn about organizations that have every reason to believe that an adult is harming a child, but does nothing more than ask the adult to stop or issue a warning to the adult.  This has to stop.  The price it just too high. As a Florida child sex abuse attorney, I was very disappointed to read a story on the WFTV website about a former Apopka Elementary School teacher who was recently arrested for allegedly inappropriately touching one of his former students. Once the police received the report from this recent victim, the began investigating the teacher’s personnel file.  The file showed that the teacher had been accused in the past of having students sit in his lap in class, and for being very “touchy” with the children in his class.  Apparently, the teacher was warned, but nothing more. We don’t know the timing of the abuse of the victim that came forward recently, but if it was following the “red flags” the school received, then this situation represents a horrible failure on the part of Apopka Elementary School.  It seems pretty clear that the school should have terminated this teacher as soon as the lap-sitting and touching allegations were substantiated.  As I wrote earlier, the stakes are too high to do otherwise. I certainly hope the victim who had the courage to report this accused molester to police is receiving the mental health and emotional care and therapy he needs. If you have any questions regarding allegations of any adult committing an act of child sex abuse, call Winter Park attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at 407-254-4901 or visit http://cullen-hemphill.com.  Consultations are always free and without...

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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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Boy Scouts’ Child Sexual Abuse Settlement Keeps Internal Files Private, For Now

Posted by on Feb 3, 2015 in Child Sexual Abuse

Boy Scouts’ Child Sexual Abuse Settlement Keeps Internal Files Private, For Now

A California child sexual abuse lawsuit settlement last week will allow the Boy Scouts of America to keep its “perversion files” outside of public view for a little bit longer. The Los Angeles Times is reporting that a settlement has been reached between a 20-year old Santa Barbara man and the Boy Scouts of America.  The man was sexually abused at age 12 and 13 by a Scout leader named Al Stein.  Mr. Stein plead no contest to charges that he endangered three boys in 2007.  He later violated his probation when child pornography was found on his cell phone. The case had begun to receive attention from lawyers across the nation because the victim’s attorney had been successful in securing the Boy Scouts’ “perversion files” during the course of discovery and fact-finding.  The “perversion files” are internal files that Boy Scouts of America has been amassing since the 1920’s identifying sexually abusive scout leaders and their victims. Boy Scouts of America has fought for many years to keep these files secret.  The Supreme Court of Oregon ordered 20 years of files (1965 to 1985) released in a 2012 child sexual abuse lawsuit that ultimately led to a $20 million jury verdict.  Had the California lawsuit gone forward, much more recent perversion files could have been introduced into evidence.  This evidence would presumably serve to refute Boy Scouts’ claims that in recent years they have cleaned house and are taking child protection much more seriously. Perhaps it is the cynic in me, but this settlement seems much more motivated by the Boy Scouts’ preference to keep the newer “perversion files” sealed from public view, rather than by an interest in doing right by the victimized person.  Boy Scouts claims the files need to be kept secret in order to protect the victims, as well as those scout leaders who have been “falsely” accused.  According to the L.A. Times, a review of some previously disclosed “perversion files” reveals a dogged effort  by the Boy Scouts to protect abusive scout masters from criminal responsibility, and protect the organization’s reputation. It seems to me that the Boy Scouts could easily release the perversion files – if they wanted to — and redact or black out the names of the victims in order to protect their privacy.  This is what the Boy Scouts would do if they were truly interested in seeing justice done for the kids who were entrusted to them. It never ceases to amaze me the lengths that organizations will go to in order to avoid responsibility for the reprehensible actions of a small group of sick individuals — quite often to the detriment of admittedly innocent child victims.  Don’t these organizations realize that their tactics and strategies actually serve to compound the damage that has already been done to these young kids? I am guessing that it won’t be...

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