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Posts Tagged "protect"

Pope Francis Shows Strong Leadership Can Protect Kids From Sexual Abuse

Posted by on Oct 2, 2014 in Child Sexual Abuse

Pope Francis Shows Strong Leadership Can Protect Kids From Sexual Abuse

Pope Francis is one of the most revered men on Earth, and he probably doesn’t care what one personal injury lawyer in Winter Park, Florida, thinks about him, but I can’t help but be impressed by how this man has taken on the scourge of child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church.  (Disclaimer:  I am not Catholic.) The Associated Press has reported that Pope Francis has forcibly removed Bishop Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano from his duties in the diocese of Paraguay.  In addition to some doctrinal differences, the Pope took issue with Bishop Livieres’ protection and sanctuary offered to an Argentine priest, the Reverend Carlos Urrutigoity. Father Urrutigoity had previously been a Priest in the Diocese of Scranton, Pennsylvania, which paid a $400,000.00 sexual misconduct settlement over allegations made against Father Urrutigoity and another priest.  Although Father Urrutigooity was never charged with a crime before leaving the United States, one of his former bosses called him “a serious threat to young people.” As an attorney that represents victims of child sexual abuse here in Florida, I am a big fan of any leader who is willing to step outside of a “comfort zone”, and take active steps to eliminate child abuse and molestation from any youth-centered organization.  Pope Francis fortunately seems to have decided that it is time for the Catholic Church to not only stop protecting guilty Priests, but also to begin punishing those in the church who have been protecting the guilty. If you have any questions about a Florida child sexual abuse case, or how organizations and institutions can be held liable for failing to protect children from abusers and predators, call Winter Park attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at...

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Did Cerebral Palsy Organization Properly Supervise Accused Sexual Abuser?

Posted by on Feb 1, 2013 in Child Sexual Abuse

Clickorlando.com featured an article I recently read with some professional interest. The article detailed the recent arrest of an Ormond Beach man based upon allegations that he sexually abused a disabled woman. While stories of bad behavior similar that alleged here seem to have become commonplace in recent years, as an Orlando sexual abuse attorney, I became more interested when I learned that the accused abuser met the disabled woman through his employment with United Cerebral Palsy. First, I was interested to learn that, while UCP forbade staff from socializing with clients, the accused abuse freely admitted to police that he brought the victim to his home and to a restaurant. The sexual abuse allegedly occurred at the UCP worker’s house, and also in his car. Organizations like UCP owe two main duties of care to their patients/clients. The first is to make sure that background checks are performed on any workers who are placed in positions of trust with the patients/clients. The second duty is to properly supervise every person that is placed in contact with the patient/client by the overseeing organization — and particularly if the patient/client is someone who is very vulnerable, like a child or disabled person. As this case develops it will be interesting to see how much UCP knew about this worker from Ormond Beach when it allowed him to have access to this disabled  woman. Additionally, it will be interesting to learn how much UCP knew about this man taking this woman in his car and to his home. In my experience, these kinds of things generally don’t happen without other people knowing about it. If an organization like UCP did not do enough to protect the victim, the organization can be held liable for negligent supervision or negligent screening or background checking, and might have to pay damages to the sexual abuse victim. Hopefully for everyone involved here, this will turn out to have been some kind of significant...

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