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Posts Tagged "sexual"

Flagler Soccer Coach Molestation Arrest – What Were Red Flags?

Posted by on Nov 1, 2016 in Child Sexual Abuse, Recent News

Flagler Soccer Coach Molestation Arrest – What Were Red Flags?

The molestation arrest of a Flagler County Youth Soccer Coach for repeatedly sexually abusing 12-year old and 16-year old boys raises questions about what the soccer clubs the coach worked for knew or should have known about his activities. The arrest of Sean Stern, 35, also raises the question about how many other victims he might have left in his wake. According to a story on the Central Florida News 13 website, Mr. Stern was arrested in Tacoma, Washington, after Flagler County Sheriff’s Deputies issued a nationwide-warrant.  The story mentioned that Stern had coached at a multitude of Central and East Florida soccer clubs, soccer schools, and training facilities. First, it should be emphasized that Mr. Stern has only been accused of crimes, and is entitled to the the assumption of innocence.  However, if Mr. Stern did abuse the children he has been accused of molesting, they are very likely not his only victims.  In our experience handing Florida child sexual abuse cases, perpetrators very rarely only abuse one or two children. It is commonplace for experienced child sex abusers to have scores of victims.  In fact, we have been involved in a child sex abuse case against a soccer club in the Florida panhandle where law enforcement estimated that the perpetrator had over 100 child victims.  This obviously horrifying. With large numbers of victims, it is very rare that perpetrators can entirely mask their urges and activities.  Child sex abusers generally “groom” their victims by showing them lots of attention,  affection, and showering them with gifts.   We refer to these kinds of behaviors as “Red Flags.”  We saw many Red Flags by the molester in our panhandle soccer club case, and it would be surprising if Mr. Stern had not shown similar behaviors during his numerous and frequent stops along the Central Florida youth soccer circuit.  (Even the frequency of the stops seems to raise questions.) Parents who discover that their children have been sexually abused understandably have many questions about how youth-focused organizations can be held liable when their employees or volunteers sexually abuse children.  If you have need information or have questions, please call Winter Park child sexual abuse attorneys Kim Michael Cullen or Robert Hemphill at 407-254-4901, or visit their website at...

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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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Boy Scout Child Sex Abuser Ruled Incompetent

Posted by on Jan 12, 2016 in Child Sexual Abuse, Recent News

Boy Scout Child Sex Abuser Ruled Incompetent

An Orange County circuit judge has ruled that Fleet Peeples, Jr., is not competent to stand trial on child pornography charges that have been pending since February 2014, according to an article published on WFTV.com. Apparently, Mr. Peeples has been evaluated twice and has been found not mentally competent to stand trial. If he is not competent to stand trial soon, the State Attorney’s office may have to drop the case against Mr. Peeples based upon Florida law. Mr. Peeples is free on bail, and living at home. In addition, and importantly to me as a Florida child sex abuse attorney, while Mr. Peeples was being arrested for possession of hundreds of images of child pornography, he admitted to molesting and sexually abusing nearly a dozen young boys when he was a Central Florida Boy Scout leader. There is no mention in the story regarding whether Mr. Peeples is being prosecuted for the sexual abuse he admitted to inflicting upon those poor Boy Scouts. In the event that Mr. Peeples Boy Scout victims cannot received justice through the criminal justice system, they may be able to seek some satisfaction – probably in the form of money damages — for Peeples’ deplorable actions from the Boy Scouts. Organizations that cater to children owe the children a duty to supervise any adults that are placed in contact with children, including Scout leaders. Florida’s Statute of Limitations for past acts of child sex abuse is somewhat complicated. Any adult who wishes to assert a claim for past acts of abuse should definitely speak with an experienced Florida child sexual abuse attorney in order to learn his or her rights. If you have any questions regarding historical acts of child sex abuse in Florida, call Winter Park child sex abuse attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at 407-254-4901. Consultations are always free, and without...

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