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...Read More »
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