Newark Educators Accused of Sexual Assault Decades Ago
Our New Jersey civil litigation attorney explains how victims of sexual abuse as children in schools are speaking out and holding those at fault accountable.
Sadly, sexual abuse of children is an unfortunately common crime. It has devastating effects that often have impacts for decades after, with many adults still unable to deal with the trauma or discuss what happened. A recent lawsuit filed by survivors of child sexual assault perpetrated by Newark educators decades ago illustrates how changes in state law can help in these cases by allowing abusers to be held accountable.
Our law firm is currently handling many civil sex abuse cases against teachers, clergy, police, and coaches.
Lawsuits Filed Over Alleged Sexual Abuse of Students by Educators
Multiple lawsuits have been filed against the Newark School District by adults who allege they were sexually assaulted by educators when they were children. According to a June 2021 report by ChalkBeat, a non-profit news organization focused on educational issues in New Jersey, the cases focus on incidents that span 20 years, occurring from the early 1970s to the 1990s.
Former students cite specific incidents in which they were sexually assaulted by principals, teachers, school janitors, and others. They also claim that others, including district officials, were aware of the incidents and did nothing to stop them or to get help for the victims. Many of them suffered lifelong trauma as a result, struggling with mental health issues and drug or alcohol addiction.
Several former students began speaking up about what happened, giving others the courage to share their stories of abuse as well. Nearly a dozen have now filed lawsuits against the perpetrators, as well as against the school and district officials who either knew or should have known about the problem.
Your Rights In Holding Abusers Accountable
While there have been many incidents reported involving child sexual assault in religious organizations and social groups, such as the Boy Scouts, cases involving public school educators and officials have only recently surfaced. In the past, New Jersey statutes of limitations worked against survivors but changes in state law now provide greater options for legal recourse.
In 2019, the civil statute of limitations for sexual assault was expanded. The New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault states that the change allowed greater numbers of survivors to hold abusers accountable than ever before. Current time limits for filing a child sexual assault claim include:
- Up until the child reaches the age of 55;
- Up to seven years after discovery of trauma-related damages;
- A one-time, two-year look-back window, in which victims of child sexual assault who were previously barred from filing a claim under the statutes of limitations can now pursue civil litigation. The two year look back period ends on November 30, 2021.
Our New Jersey Civil Litigation Attorney Helps Child Sexual Assault Survivors
At the Leonard Law Group, we provide the trusted legal guidance and professional representation survivors of child sexual assault need to hold their abusers accountable. To find out how we can help you, call 973-984-1414 or contact our Morristown civil litigation attorney online and request a free confidential consultation today.