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Posts Tagged "high school"

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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Child Sexual Abuse Damages Kids, Regardless of Age

Posted by on Jul 14, 2014 in Child Sexual Abuse

Child Sexual Abuse Damages Kids, Regardless of Age

Almost anyone with a heart can sympathize with a tender young child who is victimized by a sexual predator or child sex abuser. However, some people seem less wiling to open their hearts to teenage victims of sexual abuse. This is why I was particularly struck by a story by Rene Stutzman in the Orlando Sentinel that detailed the sentencing of a former Lyman High School teacher to 12 years in prison for having sex with (at least) two of his teenage students. Scott Kimbrough, who is 40 years old, was arrested at his Winter Park home after two girls came forward and indicated that they had sex with Mr. Kimbrough when they were 15 and 17, respectively, while they were students and he was a teacher at Lyman High School. Circuit Court Judge Marlene Alva sentenced Mr. Kimbrough to 12 years in prison, as well as a permanent designation as a sexual predator. As a Florida child sexual abuse attorney, what struck me most about the sentencing was the demeanor of the older victim that had come forward. (By the way, I would bet that there are more than two victims. It is not uncommon for there to be many more victims of child sexual abuse than actually come forward.) The oldest victim testified that Mr. Kimbrough had fully convinced her that he was in love with her. However, once the relationship was discovered by people at Lyman High School her life “became a living nightmare.” She ultimately had to drop out of classes, and she plunged into a deep depression which has now morphed into regular, terrible anxiety attacks. She testified that, today, she has trouble functioning in day-to-day life. These are not unusual symptoms for people who have been sexually abused — at any age. Regardless of age, research indicates that any person who has been the victim of a sexual attack is prone to having very serious emotional and psychological problems. I am sure that it took a lot of courage for this young lady to come forward and share her story with others. It ALWAYS does in this kind of case. In every child sexual abuse case we handle (where we are typically seeking money damages to pay for professional counseling, therapy, and other related services), I am constantly impressed by our clients’ courage. If you have any questions regarding a Florida child sexual abuse case, regardless of the age of the child, call Winter Park personal injury attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at...

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