We are taking the threat of COVID-19 very seriously. Click here to find out what our firm is doing.

Articles Posted in Sexual Abuse Injury Attorney

priest-3621038_1280-300x169Hearing about sex abuse cases against the Catholic Church is nothing new. But, a new Supreme Court ruling could affect whether individuals who were victims of sex crimes by members of the Roman Catholic Church can still proceed with their cases due to expired statutes of limitations. 

In Pennsylvania, a ruling from Blair County is currently on appeal to the state Supreme Court. The case: Rice v. Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown. The Blair County of Common Pleas found that the statute of limitations on this case had run out since the last instance of abuse occurred when the victim was 14 – in 1981. The court ruled that the statute of limitations expired in 1987 and dismissed the lawsuit. 

However, in June 2019, a three-judge panel of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania reversed the ruling based on the fact that Rice does not claim her suffering stopped in the 70’s and 80’s with the molestation, but she developed new injuries from the civil conspiracy 2016 Grand Jury Report, which if proven could mean that she was well within her two-year statute of limitations. 

A decision is expected in this case by 2021, and could mean a rise in similar cases against the Church. 

An annual audit of Catholic Church sex abuse conducted every year since 2002 shows that 4,434 allegations of sex abuse involving minors was reported for 2019. In 2018, there were 1,451 cases of sexual misconduct reported. In 2017, 693 cases. In 2016, 1,318 cases and in 2015, 903 cases. 

Sexual abuse cases involving the Catholic Church are rampant across the United States. Sadly, the Church made the decision to try and cover up these cases rather than do the right thing and hold abusers accountable for their inappropriate sexual conduct. The cycle of abuse has continued for so long that it is impossible to know exactly how many survivors of this abuse there really are. 

Sexual abuse can involve any type of unwanted or unwelcome sexual activity, such as molestation, rape, sexual assault, indecent exposure, sexual harassment, unwelcome touching with our without clothing, etc. 

The aftermath of sexual abuse can be absolutely devastating. The injuries suffered do not stop when the abuse does, as this case demonstrates. Being the victim of sexual abuse can last a lifetime. Sleep disorders and depression are all common after surviving sexual abuse as well as substance abuse, self-harm, and even suicide. Minors that are victims of sex abuse may experience all kind of behavioral changes, such as eating disorders, partaking in risky behavior, using drugs and alcohol, and even become overly sexualized. 

If you or someone you care about has been the victim of sexual abuse, our Florida Church Sex Abuse Lawyers at Whittel & Melton want to help you file a lawsuit against the person responsible for your abuse as well as the institution who failed to prevent the abuse. You may have the right to seek financial compensation for various damages, such as medical bills, bills related to therapy, and loss of income. You may also be eligible to recover punitive damages from your abuser. This is a financial award meant to punish those who have committed sexual abuse as well as the insitututions that allowed the abuse to take place or even tried to hide the fact that it was happening. 

We understand how hard it can be to speak up about what happened to you, but we encourage all abuse survivors to do so as it can hold the person as well as the organization responsible for their actions as well as protect the rights of others who have suffered abuse. When you stand up to an organization, like the Catholic Church, you are fighting for justice for your abuse, but also protecting others from suffering from the same type of abuse. 

We want to help you speak your truth and find some peace. We know that nothing can ever change what was done to you, but we want your voice to be heard so that you can continue to move forward with your life. We want to see you compensated appropriately for your suffering and try and prevent any episodes of further sexual abuse. We want you to know that we are here for you and will fight for your rights. 

Continue reading

Changes to Title IX laws are slated to go into effect August 14 that are binding for K-12 and post-secondary institutions. 

The revision, which is 2,033 pages, no longer requires college coaches and other staff members to report any cases of sexual abuse or harassment to the Title IX office. 

football-557565_1280-300x200The new regulations also give schools the choice of what standard of proof they wish to follow and award more protections to those accused. Our Sex Assault Victims Attorneys at Whittel & Melton have outlined everything you need to know to understand the new changes. 

Under the current Title IX laws, college coaches and other staff members are mandated to report any findings of sexual assault or sexual discrimination to the Title IX office or any other appropriate channels. This is what has contributed to so many schools being found liable in numerous high-profile sex crimes cases. A recent case involving Michigan State resulted in the school being fined $4.5 million for failing to handle sex assault allegations appropriately against Larry Nassar, a former sports medicine physician for Michigan State University. 

These new changes are being implemented for the sheer sake of protecting the victim, according to Betsy DeVos, the Secretary of Education and other government officials. The government believes that many sex crimes victims might wish to keep quiet about their sexual assault incident. The new regulations support a student’s right to not share their personal information or wish to have a formal investigation launched. 

Employees of K-12 schools are required to report any allegations of sexual assault when minors are involved and they must investigate once a formal complaint is filed. 

The goal of the new regulations is to create an environment where all students can learn free from sex discrimination and strengthen protections for victims of sexual assault. However, this could mean the exact opposite for victims. The new regulations could make it more difficult for survivors of sexual assault on campus. 

Title IX revisions may not keep coaches and other staff members from reporting any allegations of sexual abuse. NCAA and the U.S. Center for SafeSport mandate that all coaches, administrators, all other athletics staff, and student athletes report any suspected crimes of sexual violence to campus police or appropriate campus  offices for further investigation. The NCAA recently added on a new policy requiring any sexual acts of violence that resulted in investigation or a criminal conviction to be added into an annual report. This is their effort to address violent sex crimes and keep student athletes from transferring to a different school without them being aware of the transgression. 

With that said, despite the new Title IX revision, colleges and universities very well may still require coaches and athletic staff members to still report any allegations of sexual abuse. Schools can adopt their own reporting policies.  

Unde the new Title IX revisions, schools are now only required to report alleged incidents that happen on campus or during off campus school events, such as a fraternity or sorority event or even a football or basketball away game at another campus. This excludes any students studying abroad as well as any students that are the victims of sex crimes in off campus apartments or houses. 

All allegation of sexual abuse, harassment or assault will require the school to have a live hearing that is quite similar to legal proceedings in criminal court. Cross examinations will be allowed, but students will not be permitted to question one another.  

The new Title IX rules state that college and universities can choose what standard of proof they want to follow: 

  1. Clear and convincing evidence: the evidence is more likely to be true than false. 
  2. Preponderance of evidence: 51% of the evidence demonstrates the accused committed the crime.

It is actually quite common for sexual assaults to happen on college campuses. Often, these cases involve students, athletes, and coaches or team doctors. Doctors, coaches, and other administrative staff are in positions of power and trust, and they can use their authority to take advantage of young adults or even underage minors. 

Continue reading

A well-known team doctor at the University of Michigan has been accused of sexually abusing former students while performing medical exams. Coaches and other staff members are also accused of being aware of the misconduct, but looked the other way. 

In total, 53 students have accused Dr. Robert Anderson of molesting them. These former students also say they reported the sex crimes to the football coach Bo Schembechler and athletic director Don Canham, as well as others. 

The doctor was with the school for nearly 40 years until 2003. 

The President of the University of South Florida, Steven Currall, along with other school officials, have launched an investigation into alleged sexual assaults that took place on campus involving both former and current students. 

There have been numerous women recounting stories of sexual assault amongst the Greek community on the USF campus. The allegations have all come after a former student took to her Twitter account recently to tell her story. 

people-3154439_1920-300x200The 23-year-old said she was attacked in 2017 by a friend and member of the Sigma Nu fraternity. She said she was taken advantage of after a night of partying led to her having too much to drink.  

pinewood-derby-736434_1920-300x200A new string of lawsuits against the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) were filed Friday in Manhattan Supreme Court related to the organization letting sex abuse to repeatedly happen for decades dating back to its founding in 1910. 

A total of 21 new lawsuits filed charge 14 adult scout leaders with partaking in the sex abuse of children multiple times starting in 1954.

The lawsuit says sexual abuse within the BSA has been going on throughout the organization’s 110 years. 

Joaquin Garcia, 50, the leader of the Guadalajara-based La Luz del Mundo — The Light of the World — was arrested Monday at Los Angeles International Airport and was being held in lieu of $25 million bail after being accused of human trafficking and much more.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced on Tuesday that mega-church leader Joaquin Garcia and others associated with him face charges of human trafficking, production of child pornography, forcible rape of a minor, among other felonies.

Becerra says Garcia committed the crimes between 2015 and 2018 while leading La Luz Del Mundo, an international religious organization headquartered in Mexico with over one million followers reported worldwide.

In the criminal complaint, it is alleged that García and his “co-defendants” allegedly coerced victims into performing sexual acts by telling them that if they went against any of his desires or wishes as “the Apostle,” that they were going against God.

The criminal complaint alleges, among other acts, that Ocampo directed minors to perform “flirty” dances for Garcia “wearing as little clothing as possible.” Ocampo also allegedly ordered various minors to “take off their clothing and touch each other sexually.”

The complaint also alleges that Garcia kissed and groped a 15-year-old girl in his office, and that he and Ocampo forcibly raped an underage girl. Garcia, Ocampo and Oaxaca also allegedly performed sex acts on an underage girl, according to the complaint.

Ocampo also allegedly instructed three underage girls to take nude photos of themselves to send to Garcia, telling them to “take photos without their underwear and with their legs open.”

 

The other individuals named in the complaint are Alondra Ocampo, Azalea Rangel Melendez, and Susana Medina Oaxaca, all of whom are affiliated with La Luz Del Mundo. In addition to García, Alondra Ocampo and Susana Medina Oaxaca were also arrested.

An arrest warrant has also been issued for Azalea Rangel Melendez, who is currently at large.

Anyone who believed they may have been a victim of sexual abuse or have information about incidents of sexual misconduct related to anyone who may be involved in this case is asked to call 323-765-2100 or you can file a complaint online here.

Sexual abuse by any member of the church or clergy, regardless of the faith, is very tough on victims. Our Florida Clergy Sexual Abuse Lawyers at Whittel & Melton are highly aware of the importance of faith in peoples’ lives and how devastating it can be when abuse shakes that faith. We have seen how priests and clergy members abuse their positions of power, just like other sexual abusers, to take advantage of their congregation members to commit their crimes. Their victims are both female and male, adults and children.

When you have been abused by a church member and are brave enough to come forward, you are not turning your back on your faith. Asking your church, temple, synagogue or mosque to take your claim of clergy sex abuse seriously is a matter of enforcing the law. Religious institutions in the state of Florida, or elsewhere in the country, are not above the law when it comes to sexual assaults and sexual abuse.

We are very familiar with the process of “grooming,” in which a trusted person in authority pays extra special attention to a potential victim, often for months before the abuse starts. Grooming is what bonds the victim to the abuser, so that when the abuse starts, the victim feels helpless to do anything about it. The grooming process may involve attacking the victim’s self-esteem and attempts to isolate the victim from family and friends, so that the victim will not feel like they can tell them what is happening.

Victims of church or clergy abuse, sexual assault, and sex abuse deserve justice, which can be obtained in the civil justice system. By filing a civil suit, this allows victims to seek financial compensation for the physical, mental, emotional and economic damages caused by the abuse. Sadly, many sex abuse victims don’t know of their right to seek monetary damages. 

Sexual abuse, child molestation, priest and clergy abuse, sexual assault, and other sex crimes are all too common and are often perpetrated by people we trust such as:

  • Teachers
  • Coaches
  • Day care center employees
  • Priests or religious leaders
  • Camp counselors
  • Doctors, dentists, counselors, psychologists and therapists

Continue reading

Pembroke Pines Mayor Frank Ortis was first elected to the City Commission in 1996, became mayor in 2004 and has been reelected three times, twice unopposed.

Now, as Ortis campaigns for what he says could be his final term at age 76, he faces not only his biggest political challenge yet from Commissioner Angelo Castillo, but also an allegation of sexual assault in a civil lawsuit that will play out in Broward County court as the March election approaches.

A former employee at a Pembroke Pines restaurant that Ortis co-owns, Mayor’s Cafe & Bagel Emporium, says the mayor sexually assaulted her in his car in April 2016 and then harassed her repeatedly at work. The mayor claims the incidents never happened and is counter-suing for defamation.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigated the claims after the accuser reported them to Pembroke Pines police in late 2017. The department said last October that it couldn’t find enough evidence to charge him with a crime.

The woman is pushing ahead with the civil suit, which she filed in March 2018.

She says that shortly after she was hired as a cashier at the restaurant, Ortis asked her to meet him in the parking lot of nearby Pembroke Lakes Golf and Racquet Club after her shift ended. After Ortis told her to get into his car, she says, Ortis repeatedly tried to initiate a sexual encounter.

According to the complaint, Ortis grabbed her hand and forced it onto his pants. He then tried to unbuckle his pants and pull her hand back onto his groin, the complaint says, as the woman moved her hand away. She says Ortis then tried to unbuckle her pants, touched one of her breasts, and “forced his tongue into her mouth.”

The woman says she pulled away multiple times and kept asking Ortis “why he was doing this.”

Ortis told the Herald last week that the claims were entirely fabricated. He added that FDLE “completely exonerated [him] of any wrongdoing.”

After the woman’s lawsuit was filed, Ortis produced travel documents showing he was in Washington, D.C., for business on April 19, 2016, the day the woman initially said the assault took place. In an amended complaint, she said she incorrectly recalled the date and that the incident had actually taken place a week earlier.

There has yet to be a court hearing in the civil suit almost 21 months after it was filed. A trial has not been scheduled.

The lawsuit focuses on the alleged incident in the mayor’s car, but the woman’s report to local police and the subsequent FDLE investigation also delved into her claims about Ortis’ behavior at his restaurant.

The November 2017 police report says that, when she returned to work after the incident in the car, Ortis began asking her crude questions, touching her inappropriately, and pressuring her to send him nude pictures of herself.

The woman told police that Ortis asked her, “Do you want to have anal sex?” and told her, “You have nice tits.” She also said that, in the narrow area behind the counter at the cafe, Ortis would sometimes “grab her buttocks.”

The police report says the woman “was afraid to confront Ortis because she did not want to lose her job.”

Ortis’ counterclaim says the woman posted defamatory reviews of Mayor’s Cafe online that referred to Ortis’ inappropriate behavior.

In a Google review, according to court documents, the woman wrote: “mayor is too busy sexually harassing his female employees.” On Yelp, Benjamin wrote a comment referencing Ortis and the #MeToo movement.

These statements, Ortis’ counterclaim says, “were intended to wrongfully extract monies from [Ortis], who [the woman] knew was a public figure in the community and could potentially be harmed by the false and salacious allegations.”

In an October 2018 close-out memorandum detailing the FDLE investigation, Broward County Assistant State Attorney Christopher Killoran said investigators couldn’t find enough evidence to corroborate the woman’s claims.

Investigators interviewed the woman’s boyfriend, who said the woman relayed to him that Ortis “constantly harassed her and touched her.”

A forensic analysis of the boyfriend’s phone turned up two relevant text messages, including one on an unspecified date in which the woman said she was “filing sexual harassment on [the] mayor.”

In another message from March 17, 2017, the woman told her boyfriend: “I didn’t tell u mayor pulled out his [expletive] and grabbed my hand and put it on his [expletive] and I pulled it off and got so fast out his car.”

Killoran said the fact that the message was sent almost a year after the alleged incident “is not an issue.” Rather, he wrote, the two text messages were not enough to corroborate the woman’s testimony that she had “repeatedly” told her boyfriend about the mayor’s behavior.

“Both the lack of text messages reflecting this coupled with only one text being sent 11 months later contradicts her testimony,” Killoran wrote.

FDLE investigators also took statements from at least three female employees and a manager at Mayor’s Cafe. According to the close-out memo, none of them said they had seen inappropriate behavior by Ortis.

Several employees, however, told investigators they knew the woman had once sent a nude photo to Ortis and the manager.

Ortis acknowledged that he received a nude photo from the woman, but he said it was unsolicited. He told investigators that he and the woman “were friendly and texted,” but that nothing inappropriate ever happened.

The woman told police that Ortis was “constantly pressuring her” to send him nude photos and that he persisted even after she said no. She said she finally sent him a picture of herself in a bathing suit because she was afraid of losing her job.

The police report says the woman believes she was ultimately fired from the restaurant in June 2016 because she “rebuffed Ortis’ sexual advances.”

After the woman’s boyfriend visited the restaurant one day, Ortis asked her if the man was her boyfriend and asked a crude question about their relationship, according to the police report. She says she was fired the next time she showed up for work when the manager claimed $70 had gone missing from her cash drawer.

The woman denied taking any money from the restaurant and said she thought the manager was acting at Ortis’ direction. Ortis told investigators that wasn’t true and that he briefly rehired the woman “because he felt sorry for her,” but that she put in her notice a week later.

The woman also filed a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in March 2017, according to the police report. An EEOC spokesperson said the agency doesn’t comment on the complaints it receives.

Ortis said that, in his more than 20 years in office, he has never faced any complaints for harassment. A copy of his personnel file obtained by the Herald through a public records request did not include any complaints.

In the state of Florida, victims of sexual abuse can take their abusers to civil court to recover financial compensation for their suffering. If you or someone you love is considering taking an abuser to court, our Florida Sexual Abuse Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton are here to help you. 

Criminal charges are different from civil suits. Criminal charges are only meant to punish the abuser, so that they do not commit further crimes in the community. A civil suit on the other hand, focuses on the harm done to you. Your civil suit will be all about you, your suffering, and the compensation you deserve. 

Continue reading

Uber rideshare passengers in Dallas are among the first in the U.S. to have a new security option designed to make rides safer.

A total of seven cities are testing an option on the Uber app called, “Verify My Ride.”

The company believes a personal identification number will make passengers feel safer when getting in the backseat.

The addition comes after a safety report revealing more than 3,000 reports of sexual assaults in 2018, including 235 rape cases.

Passengers in Dallas and the six other cities have the option on the app to receive a PIN to make sure they are getting in the right vehicle with the right driver before opening the door.

It’s a safety feature that could eventually expand nationwide.

In the wake of the sexual assaults report, the company has openly revealed that it oversees 3,000,000 rides a day and about half of those assaults are reported by drivers.

Ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft have escalated in popularity around the world for everyone who needs transportation services. With the simple touch of a button, you can request a ride from the closest rideshare driver in your area. While this is a very cool form of technology, the reality is that you never know who you are actually requesting rides from. 

There has been a surge in the past few years of incidence of sexual assault committed by rideshare drivers. Many drivers are not properly screened by the companies and others just seize the opportunity to prey on vulnerable and unsuspecting passengers.

People who have suffered sexual assault by their rideshare drivers have the right to seek financial compensation for their suffering. Our Florida Uber & Lyft Sexual Assault Attorneys at Whittel & Melton are here to assist with these types of lawsuits so that victims can recover proper payment for damages they have incurred.

If you were the victim of a rape or sexua attack by an Uber or Lyft driver, you can file a lawsuit demanding financial compensation against both the driver and company. Our team of Sexual Abuse Injury Lawyers can investigate your claim by interviewing any witnesses, uncovering any surveillance videos, and obtaining the cell phone records for both the victim and driver to get the events leading up to, during, and after the attack down to the exact time frame.

We believe in paying attention to every single detail. We will do an extensive search into the background of the Uber or Lyft driver to find previous incidents of criminal behavior and other complaints of misconduct. Our goal is to get you the maximum recovery for the suffering you endured. 

After a sexual assault occurs in an Uber or Lyft, your next actions are critical to your case. First, get medical care for your injuries, including a rape kit if you were raped. Next, report the incident to the police and give them as much information as possible about the driver and the details of the incident. You should also save every piece of evidence related to the incident, including the clothes you were wearing at the time of the incident, and a copy of the police report. Your doctor should also provide you with a medical report that lists your injuries and treatment plan. This will help outline the extent of the effects of your experience to the jury in your case. 

While being sexually assaulted is something some may wish to try and forget about  and move on, we urge you to consider the value in filing a lawsuit against the offender. By taking legal action, you may help prevent future victims and achieve a sense of justice through a civil suit for damages. You can also recover the costs of medical treatment if the assault resulted in physical injuries, psychological trauma, or a sexually transmitted infection.

Continue reading

A 52-year-old man has been accused of touching female subjects inappropriately during sleep studies he was conducting at locations in New Port Richey and Zephyrhills, according to New Port Richey Police.

Officers arrested the man on Tuesday. He was charged with one count of sexual battery and one count of battery.

Investigators said the man was previously employed as a technician at the locations where the sleep studies were conducted. Female victims alleged that he touched them inappropriately during studies he was administering.

A visit to the doctor, dentist, a sleep study therapist, or any other medical professional should always be a safe environment. You are trusting someone with your general physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing. You should always be able to trust the medical professional working with you, and they should treat you with respect at all times. Any type of medical professional who compromises the patient-doctor trust through what is called sexual medical malpractice is violating the law, not to mention medical. Any sexual abuse should be reported immediately, so that the person can be removed from the institution they are employed at. If you have survived a sexual assault from a medical professional, we urge you to speak with our Florida Sexual Abuse Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton as soon as possible so that we can begin helping you pursue civil action.

While it is perfectly normal for doctors and other medical personnel to touch patients during an exam, fondling or lingering touches are not normal. Sadly, because medical professionals are held in high esteem it is difficult for patients to discern what is normal and what is not. When your doctor instructs you to do something, you trust that they have your wellbeing in mind. It is not unheard of for medical professionals to use this trust to manipulate patients for their own sexual pleasure.

During an exam, procedure or treatment you have certain rights. If at any point you feel uncomfortable, you should always speak up and end the examination. Once you let the healthcare professional performing the exam know that you are uncomfortable, they should stop right away. You also have the following rights:

  • Requesting to have someone in the room. You are certainly entitled to have someone else in the room with you, such as a nurse, friend, or family member.
  • Expectation of privacy. If you need to undress for the exam, you should have the privacy to do so. Doctors and nurses should not be in the room while you change before or after the exam. Healthcare professionals should conduct exams private rooms or rooms. If you do have to undress, you should only have to undress the body parts that are necessary for the examination, and you shouldn’t need to stay undressed for long before or after the exam.
  • Requesting a medical professional of the same sex. It is entirely acceptable for you to ask for a healthcare professional who is the same sex as you.
  • Getting answers to your questions. You always have the right to question what the medical professional is doing, and they must respect your inquisitions and answer you truthfully.
  • Respect for your religion. You are entitled to wear religious jewelry or garments, unless they stop you from receiving appropriate care.

If a doctor invades your privacy or makes you uncomfortable during your exam, our sexual abuse lawyers can help. We can investigate your medical professional’s background and see if other victims have accused this person of sexual medical malpractice before. We take these claims very seriously and will conduct a thorough investigation without delay.

Sometimes we find that there have been other reports of inappropriate sexual behavior, and the hospitals or other institutions that employ your abuser may still allow your abuser to retain their position. When this happens, these institutions are now involved and can be held liable for failing to protect you and your peers.

Inappropriate, unwanted or coercive sexual advances from a trusted healthcare professional can be violent in nature or extremely manipulative. You can suffer traumatic physical and mental harm. We want you to know that you don’t have to go through it alone. Our Florida Sexual Abuse Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton are ready to help you through this difficult time in your life.

According to the Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network (RAINN), nearly 54 percent of sexual assaults go unreported to the police. Furthermore, sexual assault or abuse is one of the most underreported crimes in the United States. Even worse, of the cases reported to police that make it to criminal trials, only 3 percent of abusers actually end up in jail.

These low numbers can be attributed to victims feeling ashamed or embarrassed so they do not report the injustice done to them. Other times, victims feel like no one will believe them, especially if their abuser is in a high power position, like a doctor or any other medical professional.

Continue reading

Attorneys that have brought a lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America have released statements that they have turned up allegations of sexual abuse against more than 350 people not previously identified in files released by the organization.

Lawyers with the Abused in Scouting group filed a lawsuit Monday in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court, alleging a one-time scout leader sexually abused a minor identified only by initials.

The suit claims that the abuse of the then-12- or 13-year-old victim by an assistant scout leader started around 1974 or 1975 and continued until about 1980.

It also alleges that the lawyers received other accusations of abuse from their clients against more than 350 people involved with the scouts who had not previously been named.

The Irving, Texas-based scouts compiled so-called ineligible volunteer files for years on people considered to pose a risk of abuse, and about 5,000 of these files have been made public as a result of court action.

Monday’s suit is claiming that the lawyers now have hundreds of names that were not in those public files. It does not list the names.

The lawsuit states that the Boy Scouts Defendants are attempting to hide the true nature of their cover-up and the long running pedophilia epidemic within their organizations. 

The lawsuit comes as states have begun changing their statutes of limitations to make it easier for long-ago victims of sexual assault can seek damages in court.

The Boy Scouts have said previously that when any volunteer is added to the database for suspected abuse, “they are reported to law enforcement, removed entirely from any Scouting and prohibited from rejoining anywhere.”

The sexual abuse settlements have begun to strain the Boy Scouts’ finances to the point where the organization has said it’s exploring “all available options,” including Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The Boy Scouts of America are one of the largest organizations for youth across the United States. The Boy Scouts have nearly 2.1 million youth participants as well as 1 million adults who support the programming by offering their time as volunteers. 

The Boy Scouts of America is supposed to be a safe place for youth to learn, play and socialize, but leaders and mentors are not always the trusted mentors they are supposed to be. As this lawsuit points out, sadly, not all adults affiliated with the Boy Scouts have acted in a lawful and appropriate manner. Allegations of abuse run rampant among this association and has wreaked havoc on the lives of young boys throughout the United States. When sexual abuse occurs,  a civil lawsuit can help victims and their families heal while providing the resources to get the help that may be needed. 

When it comes to allegations of sexual abuse of a young boy in the Boy Scouts, the abuser is not the only person that can be held accountable in a civil lawsuit. The Boy Scouts as an organization will have to bear responsibility when it comes to injuries and damages suffered by a child in the Boy Scouts at the hands of an adult who is affiliated with the organization. Due to the fact that The Boy Scouts of America is a legal entity that has a responsibility to take all reasonable steps to keep the youth in their charge safe, if a child is sexually abused by adults associated with its programming, they are technically legally liable.

When sexual misconduct occurs, they are breaching their recognized responsibility, so both the abuser and the organization itself can be sued in a civil lawsuit to recover financial compensation for injuries, damages, and losses suffered by the young victim of sexual abuse.

When it comes to protecting you or your child’s rights after sexual abuse has occurred with the Boy Scouts, the first step is to schedule an initial consultation with our Florida Sexual Abuse Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton. We are available 24/7, every single day of the year.

Our team of knowledgeable, dedicated and compassionate lawyers will do everything in our power to help survivors of childhood sexual abuse. If you or your loved one has been the victim of sexual abuse within the Boy Scouts of America, we urge you to contact us today so that we can launch an immediate investigation into your case and get you the full and fair financial compensation that you deserve.

Continue reading

Contact Information