Articles Posted in Sexual Abuse Injury Attorney

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.

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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.

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A Roman Catholic priest in Florida is facing charges that he drugged a female parishioner and raped her.

The man was in a Miami-Dade County jail late Saturday charged with sexual battery on an incapacitated victim.

According to reports, in October, the 64-year-old priest invited the victim to his home at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Homestead. The woman said she drank tea he gave her and passed out. She told investigators she woke up two hours later naked in the man’s bed, believing she was raped.

She did not notify police until two weeks ago after telling another priest. The Miami Archdiocese says she was told to contact authorities. Officers say the man confessed when confronted.

Priests are religious figures that you believe you can trust. However, when they violate that trust, the long-lasting effects on the victim can be devastating. They can range from depression and sleeping disorders to self-harm, suicide, and substance abuse.

If you are a survivor of clergy abuse, you have the right to seek compensation for your losses. You may receive damages for medical and therapy bills and loss of income. You may also be able to recover punitive damages, which are designed to punish the individuals and the institutions that allowed these acts of abuse to occur.

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A west Pasco County parent has sued the school district, alleging its negligence allowed her child to be sexually abused several times by a Ridgewood High teacher at the school campus.

The teacher was arrested in March 2018 and faces two charges of sexual assault of a minor child by a custodial authority.

The family contends that the school district should be held financially responsible, as it failed to properly supervise the teen or the teacher, and it did not provide adequate security as a precaution to “foreseeable criminal acts on the premises.” The family argues that the district should have known about prior instances of sexual misconduct by employees against students, and done something about it.

The complaint says the victim suffered physical and psychological injuries, and incurred medical expenses for treatment. It asks for a judgment in excess of $15,000.

The physical, mental, and emotional effects of sexual abuse and assault are very real and far-reaching. Victims often struggle for years following sexual assault or abuse. In many cases, victims find need therapy, counseling, medication,and more in order to heal. Treatment can undoubtedly be beneficial, but also costly, which can be be even more stress added on victims who are already struggling to move forward with their lives.

Our Florida Sexual Abuse Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton offer compassionate legal representation for victims of sexual abuse and assault. Many people do not realize that they can take civil action against the responsible party. We can help you pursue financial compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and more.

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A caregiver at a Florida facility for people with disabilities has been accused of impregnating a resident who gave birth in 2015.

Authorities say the 58-year-old man was arrested Wednesday on charges of lewd and lascivious battery on a disabled person.

An arrest affidavit says the man helped care for adult clients at a facility in Rockledge.

Staff members in 2015 discovered the female client was pregnant. The baby was born a few months later and adopted by the woman’s family.

Police say the woman has the mental capacity of a small child.

Authorities say the man had previously denied having sexual contact with the woman and voluntarily submitted a DNA sample last year. Investigators say the man’s sample came back a match with the child, resulting in his arrest.

According to the Disability and Abuse Project, which focuses on physical, sexual and emotional abuse of people with developmental or intellectual disabilities, 7 out of 10 Americans with developmental disabilities report they were sexually and/or physically assaulted, or neglected, or abused in some manner. In 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice reported 1.3 million crimes against persons with disabilities. Disabled women and men are three times more likely to be raped or sexually assaulted than the general population, according to the U.S. Department of Justice’s data.

If you have a loved one who is or was being abused by a caregiver, our Florida Sexual Abuse Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can help. Your consultatio is completely free of charge and you are under no obligation to us. We want to make sure that you are armed with the knowledge that you need to hold the responsible party accountable for their despicable actions.

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A Lifetime documentary series covering distressing allegations against R. Kelly has reportedly prompted a criminal investigation in Georgia, while prosecutors in Chicago are urging any victims to come forward.

Investigators from the Fulton County District Attorney’s office in Atlanta have tried to touch base with some of the women featured in the six-part series, according to reports.

Kelly, who’s faced numerous accusations of sexual misconduct, which he’s denied, is accused of manipulating women and controlling their lives.

Authorities involved in the probe have contacted a former girlfriend of Kelly who has spoken out multiple times about the alleged abuse she endured, according to reports.

Cook County (Chicago) State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, held a press conference Tuesday encouraging any victims to come forward, calling the allegations against Kelly covered in the Lifetime series “deeply, deeply disturbing.”

Foxx said she’s been in touch with people who claim to have information regarding allegations in Cook County, and said her office has received calls from relatives of people who have been in contact with Kelly in recent years. She said that includes family members who are looking for a loved one.

Foxx noted that she has not been in touch with Fulton County officials or with Kelly himself.

The accusations against Kelly have generated renewed attention since Thursday, when Lifetime began airing its series “Surviving R. Kelly.” The investigation reportedly began after a wave of calls to officials after the series debuted.

Kelly, 52, has been accused of inappropriate behavior with multiple underage girls in the past, which he has denied. He allegedly married the late singer Aaliyah in 1994, when she was 15.

Kelly was acquitted in a highly publicized child pornography case in 2008 after being accused of appearing in a sex tape with an underage girl years earlier.

Kelly has been accused of sexually abusing minors for decades. There have been civil lawsuits and an indictment, but he’s never actually been convicted of committing any crime. There are even alleged videos and evidence that Kelly possessed child pornography floating around. He settled many civil lawsuits out of court, and throughout the years of accusations, charges, an indictment, settlements, and along with Lifetime’s latest documentary series, a new hashtag has erupted: #MuteRKelly.

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A sex abuse investigation is underway in Phoenix after a woman in a vegetative state in a healthcare facility for 10 years gave birth.

Staff at the facility had been giving round the clock care to the female patient, according to AZ Family.

She gave birth on December 29 after apparently being raped at the facility some months earlier.  

A source added that: ‘None of the staff were aware that she was pregnant until she was pretty much giving birth.’

Reports indicated that confused staff heard the woman moaning before she gave birth to the child.

Her vegetative state is a result of an incident in which she nearly drowned ten years ago.

As a result of the incident, male staff members wanting to enter the room of a female patient must be accompanied by a female staff member.

The facility issued a statement to AZ Family and said it has been in business in the valley for over 50 years and ‘has an outstanding reputation providing high quality specialized care for our patients’.

We trust that health care providers will look after not only our own welfare, but that of our children and loved ones. We expect them to be places of care, rather than abuse. Sadly, sexual predators are everywhere and prey on vulnerable people seeking medical attention.

Our Florida Sexual Abuse Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton routinely represent victims that are sexually abused in nursing homes, hospitals, doctor’s offices, and other health care facilities. Health care facilities are rampant with sexual abuse. It is the facilities’ job to prevent sexual assault and abuse from happening. State law also dictates how these facilities are supposed to supervise patients, such as regular bed checks. As this case shows, these guidelines are often violated.

If you or someone you know has suffered sexual abuse at the hands of a healthcare provider, please let us help you file a claim against the at-fault party. We can help you obtain a sense of justice, and most importantly, ensure that those at fault pay for their crimes.

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Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of a Los Angeles auxiliary bishop following an allegation of sexual misconduct with a child in the 1990s, officials said Wednesday.

Pasadena police recommended in 2002 that the man be charged with committing a lewd act on a child, but prosecutors declined to bring charges over a lack of evidence.

The current archbishop of Los Angeles said the archdiocese learned of the claim in 2005. The archdiocese forwarded the complaint to the Vatican office handling sex abuse cases.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith imposed precautionary measures against the man and a further investigation by the archdiocese’s independent review board found the allegation to be credible.

The 69-year-old has “consistently denied any wrongdoing.” The archdiocese said it had received no other allegations against the man.

The alleged misconduct occurred while the man was a parish priest in the 1990s and the claim was never directly brought to the archdiocese.

The resignation comes during a year in which the clerical abuse scandal has exploded anew.

Hours after the man’s resignation was announced, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said her office found 500 more Catholic clergy accused of sexually abusing children than the state’s archdioceses have publicly identified.

Sadly, priests, bishops, cardinals, and other clergy members can abuse their positions of trust. If your sexual abuser is or was in a position of authority in the Catholic Church, you are certainly not alone. At Whittel & Melton, our Florida Sexual Abuse Injury Attorneys represent sexual abuse victims of all ages, including children, adults, and adults who were abused when they were children by teachers, coaches, priests, scout leaders, neighbors, relatives, or any other adults.

Our goal is to hold sexual abusers, their supervisors, and the organizations they work for accountable. While nothing we do can turn back the clock to undo the harm that a sexual abuser inflicts, the civil legal system provides one remedy, which is monetary compensation to the victim/survivor. We will fight aggressively to seek a sense of justice on your behalf.

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In a Baptist Church, the Pastor and Church leaders are looked up to by members of the congregation, especially young children. This enormous amount of power and influence the church has over its members creates dangerous opportunities for childhood sexual abuse in the Baptist faith.

The Star-Telegram investigated and discovered at least 412 allegations of sexual misconduct in 187 independent fundamental Baptist churches and their affiliated institutions, spanning 40 states and Canada.

Twenty-one abuse allegations were uncovered exclusively by the Star-Telegram, and others were documented in criminal cases, lawsuits and news reports. But victims said the number of abused is far greater because few victims ever come forward.

One hundred and sixty-eight church leaders were accused or convicted of committing sexual crimes against children, the investigation found. At least 45 of the alleged abusers continued in ministry after accusations came to the attention of church authorities or law enforcement.

This confirms that childhood sexual abuse is as prevalent in the Baptist Church as it is in the Roman Catholic Church. The crazy thing with the Baptist Church is that they have no procedures set in place for tracking abusive clergy members who are transferred out of state, for removing accused abusers from the Church, or for informing members that their officials have been accused of abuse against children. The absence of a central agency for Baptist Churches to report child molesters has resulted in church officials moving from one church to another without their new home ever learning about the history of sexual abuse.

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A Cooper City Islamic school and mosque have agreed to a multimillion-dollar legal settlement with three former students who allege a teacher sexually abused them over a decade ago.

A lawsuit filed in Broward County Circuit Court in 2014 alleged Nur-Ul-Islam Academy and mosque were negligent as a teacher, now 39, sexually abused at least three female students in their young teens from about 2004 to 2008. The women, who are now all in their mid- to late-20s, will benefit from the undisclosed amount.

The lawsuit claimed that, for at least one of the girls, the teacher allegedly would write in “code” on the blackboard in class to arrange times to meet up with her and also communicated with her through social media and late-night phone calls.

The women say the school knew of the teacher’s abuse and worked to cover it up. According to a psychologist working on the case, when the secret got out at the Islamic private school, the girls were mocked by students, teachers and the school president, who, according to the lawsuit, told one of the girls she was “equally responsible.” One girl’s family tied her up and abused her in their home, according to reports.

The lawsuit says the school’s president was approached by a parent of one of the girls who discovered a late-night phone call between their daughter and the teacher. He is alleged to acknowledge that the teacher confessed that he had improper contact with “numerous female students,” and solicited a letter of resignation from the teacher, according to the lawsuit.

According to a complaint taken by Pembroke Pines Police in 2014, a victim came forward to say she had sex with the teacher over 100 times when she was 12 to 14 years old. The teacher told her she was pretty and gave her a lot of attention, the report said, and the two spoke over the phone and by text.

The complaint said the pair met almost every weekend at either a west Broward Publix to have sex in the teacher’s car or at his home in Pembroke Pines. Similar to what was alleged in the lawsuit, the victim said they developed “codes” that the teacher wrote on the board in class to make arrangements to meet.

Police reported that the victim did not disclose the sexual relationship sooner because, “she is a member of a conservative Muslim community and it would have caused ‘shame and disgrace’ to her family.” The complaint also notes that police made contact with another former student who said that she also had a sexual relationship with the teacher when she was 15 to 16 years old.

Police made contact with the teacher and his attorney at a police station in July 2014, but the man denied any sexual relationships with either student, according to the report.

A warrant is still out for the man’s arrest, according to a Broward State Attorney’s Office spokeswoman. He was charged in 2014 with five counts of sexual battery by a person who is in a position of familial or custodial authority to a minor — which indicates that there may have been more than just three students affected — and one count of lewd and lascivious molestation. His whereabouts are not known.

The investigation is still active and charges are still pending.

Teachers are in a position of power of their students, and many look up to them as role models and authority figures. Teachers are around their students for a good majority of time each day, possibly more than their parents. When a teacher abuses his or her trust by engaging in inappropriate sexual conduct, it can cause psychological and emotional problems that may last a lifetime.

When school officials are aware that illegal behavior is happening and do nothing to stop it, both the staff/school district and the teacher can be held liable. Our Florida Sexual Abuse Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton have access to highly respected investigators who are able to thoroughly dissect all aspects of a sex abuse scandal and get to the truth to identify if the school administration was aware that child abuse was taking place. Through a careful investigation, we can build a strong case against school districts, administrators and individual child abusers.

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