For years, horrific stories of child sexual abuse have been associated mostly with church organizations. But sexual abuse can happen in many different types of associations.
Far too often we hear about child that were sexually abused by their teachers, coaches, religious leaders, police and other people in a position of trust.
The New York Post recently reported on the terrible story of a wrestling coach who has been charged with sexual abuse.. The former middle school teacher worked with thousands of children at fifteen New Jersey schools. It is not yet known whether there are more child victims of this predator across the state. Schools – like any other youth organization – can be held liable for negligently allowing harm to come to children while in their charge.
What legal recourse do I have if my child has been sexually assaulted?
If your child has been the victim of sexual abuse, it is important to go to the police immediately. This is the only way to stop the perpetrator from continuing to hurt your child or other children. As the victim of a crime, your child will have certain rights under the New Jersey Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights. These include the right to be informed of the proceedings against the defendant, the right to be free from intimidation and harassment, and the right to make a statement to the court about the impact the crime has had upon your family.
In addition to these rights in the criminal court, your child might also have the right to be compensated through a civil lawsuit. Organizations that hire predators or allow sexual abuse to occur through negligence can be held legally responsible (“liable”) for the damage that occurs. Compensation is available for all losses that were directly related to this negligence. In sexual abuse cases, compensation is commonly sought for mental health treatment, legal fees, and other costs that were incurred as a result of the sexual abuse.
Who can be liable for the sexual assault of a child?
In order to be held liable for a predator’s sexual abuse, an organization must be found negligent. Negligence can occur by hiring a known predator, or by failing to supervise the abuser around children. Most of the organizations that work with children can be found negligent in this manner. Common examples include:
- The Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts
- Youth sports organizations
- After school programs
- Church groups
- Daycare centers
- Boys and Girls Clubs
- 4-H and Future Farmers of America
- Big Brothers and Big Sisters
- Outward Bound and other outdoor activity organizations
An Experienced New Jersey Attorney for Child Sexual Assault Cases
If your child has been the victim of sexual abuse, he or she has legal rights that must be protected. The law cannot repair the damage that was done. But exercising victims’ rights in the criminal court and compensation rights in civil court can help your family on the road to recovery. Call (973) 984-1414 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation with an experienced New Jersey personal injury lawyer.
Attorney Scott G. Leonard has helped protect the rights of New Jersey sexual assault victims for over twenty three years. Sex abuse survivors trust Attorney Leonard to fight for the compensation they deserve.