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Articles Posted in Sexual Abuse & Assault

High School in ChicagoThe Chicago Public Schools have been inundated with complaints and allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse in its educational institutions. One particular school, Lincoln Park High School, has been the subject of a series of allegations that have resulted in numerous school personnel being suspended or fired. Now, CPS has been sued by the family of a student who alleges that the school did not do enough to prevent a sexual assault that she experienced at the school in January 2020.

Schools have an obligation to protect their students from all types of sexual abuse and assaults. They must provide adequate security in order to keep the students safe from outside intruders seeking to harm the students in school as well as from people within the four walls of the school. This includes both their fellow students as well as school employees such as teachers and administrators. Not only must the school have physical security protections in place, but it also must have policies and procedures that are reasonably intended to protect the students.

Even though school systems are governmental entities, they can still be defendants in lawsuits, albeit with slightly different rules governing the lawsuits. Governmental entities are accountable civilly for their failure to protect children from sexual abuse just the same as any other private entity. Parents of schoolchildren who are the victims of sexual abuse can file a sexual abuse lawsuit against the school.

One of the major issues in a sexual abuse lawsuit is the fact that the statute of limitations may have passed. In many states, this could prevent the victim from filing a lawsuit unless they do it within the time allowed by the court. The problem is that many victims either are not able to speak out right after they experience the abuse or may not even fully recall it until the repressed memories emerge later in life.

When that happens but the claim is barred by the statute of limitations, it creates a situation that seems to be harsh and unfair to those who have already suffered enough. However, many states are now changing their laws to allow victims much more time to file a sexual abuse lawsuit.

Emerging Liberal Interpretations of Statute of Limitations

Boy Scouts of America BankruptcyReeling from the prospect of virtually unlimited liability after decades of sex abuse allegations, the Boy Scouts of America filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Delaware court. For the Boy Scouts, this filing caps an exploratory process that lasted 15 months when the organization began to lay the groundwork for a possible filing.

The bankruptcy filing, however, is not the end of the line for the Boy Scouts. The organization is believed to be working out a plan that would allow it to continue operating while compensating the victims for the harm that they suffered. However, it is not apparent that the organization will be able to execute this plan.

Recent changes in laws in many states have made it possible for those who were allegedly molested by scoutmasters decades ago to now file sexual abuse lawsuits against the Boy Scouts. States have changed their statutes of limitations to allow victims to sue as adults. Combined with the fact that victims may sue the organizations that were represented by the pedophiles, the Boy Scouts were facing an existential crisis due to the staggering amount of possible liability.

uber-rideshare-passenger-sexual-assaultRideshare companies like Lyft and Uber have opened up new transportation options for millions. But the services have also opened up opportunities for drivers to commit sexual misconduct, up to and including rape. Multiple women who were sexually assaulted have sued Uber and Lyft for failure to adequately background-check their drivers. These lawsuits often also accuse the companies of failing to suspend drivers who were credibly accused of assault.

Widespread Rideshare Sexual Assault Allegations

Although the Washington Post says both Uber and Lyft have committed to eventually publishing statistics on sexual assault, neither has made any such statistics available as of fall of 2019.

Boy Scout Leaders and Abuse A child sex abuse scandal is currently embroiling the long-standing organization, the Boy Scouts of America, that spans several decades and includes nearly 8,000 accused abusers. According to files from the organization going back decades, the Boy Scouts have excluded thousands of volunteers from continuing with the organization because of accusations of sexual abuse. The organization was aware of the abuse during this time, and survivors can now claim reparations for their lasting harm.

The Boy Scout Child Sex Abuse Scandal

According to The New York Times, an expert witness from the University of Virginia, Professor Janet Warren, has revealed the extent of the scope of child sexual abuse within the Boy Scouts organization over the past several decades. During the past five years, Dr. Warren worked on behalf of the Boy Scouts of America to review data that the organization kept known as the “perversion files.” In these documents, the Boy Scouts detailed information about banned volunteers from the group who have committed acts of child sexual abuse against Boy Scouts members for decades.

Sexual Abuse Glencoe SchoolsGlencoe, Illinois – In 2017, two alumni of Glencoe Schools contacted Glencoe District 35 administrators to report individual cases of sexual abuse by a retired schoolteacher. Dave Stroud made an allegation claiming he was sexually abused by now 81-year-old teacher Marvin Martin who denies the accusation.

The teacher has stated that he was not a pedophile and has “no memories of [Stroud] at all.”

The Colorado resident Stroud was living in Glencoe in the early 1970s with his two brothers and parents who allow the male schoolteacher to provide the boys care while they were away on business. Stroud’s mother verified that she had trusted the teacher to stay with the family for a week back then.

Evanston Township Teacher AccusationsA former student of has made claims alleging he was sexually abused more than 20 years ago by a now-retired school teacher. The allegations by 48-year-old Jeff Lieber, a former Evanston Township High School student, were made on social media in September 2017, accusing the former educator of inappropriate sexual abuse. The alleged victim’s actions prompted the school district to contact the Evanston Illinois police force to report the claim.

Lieber now lives in Los Angeles and works as a television writer. He was a student at Evanston Township High School in the mid-1980s when he says his teacher fondled him while he was lying down on a school couch. The former student claims that the teacher “would grab male students, grope male students. I had multiple experiences where he would reach down my pants, and grab my [genitals].” Lieber also stated that “He’d kiss us, grope us and use his position as the gatekeeper to our passion for theater as a weapon.”

The Victim Remained Silent

Court Rules for Boy Scouts A lawsuit brought against the Boy Scouts of America on behalf of 16 former scouts is being allowed to proceed after a ruling made by the Illinois Appellate Court. The 16 boys represented in the lawsuit are all adults currently, but were among over 100 children molested by Thomas Hacker, who was the leader of Boy Scout Troop 1600 at the St. Louis de Montfort Church in Oak Lawn. The Boy Scouts of America and the Chicago Area Council have both been named as defendants in the case for their failure to properly vet the Boy Scout leader before allowing him to supervise minors.

Thomas Hacker Considered one of the Most Notorious Sex Offenders in Scout History

Thomas Hacker is suspected to have abused over 100 boys in the 1980s and most of these molestations are believed to have occurred during his tenure as a Boy Scout Troop leader. He first volunteered for the organization as a merit badge counselor and worked his way up to the position of Scoutmaster. The plaintiffs allege that the organization did not conduct background checks on Hacker prior to placing him in a leadership position and such vetting would have revealed his felony conviction in 1970 for abusing a child in Indiana.

Records Released from the Chicago ArchdioceseAfter decades of accusations against the Archdiocese of Chicago, victims of childhood sexual abuse at the hands of priests in local parishes have a small victory. In January 2014, thousands of personnel records were finally released to the public. These files contain horrific stories of sexual abuse and molestation that plagued young boys and girls in the Catholic Church here in Chicago.

A Long Fight For Chicago Victims

The recent releasing of these records has taken years of fighting to accomplish. Although most of the abuse detailed in these files happened many years earlier, the Archdiocese of Chicago had still fought to keep them under lock and key. Other dioceses across the country had already been legally required to release these records, including landmark cases in Los Angeles and Oregon.

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Over the past few decades, more and more large organizations have been accused of allowing child sexual abuse to happen under their watch. From the Roman Catholic Church to the Boy Scouts of America, there are continued allegations that these organizations not only did not protect the children in their midst from sexual abuse, but they were also aware that is was happening yet did nothing to stop it. When signs and suspicions of abuse are ignored, these organizations are justifiable targeted for lawsuits by the victims and often pay the price.

Roman Catholic Church Cases

One of the most notorious child sex abuse scandals and the heaviest paid damages have come from abuse from priests of the Roman Catholic Church. It is estimated that over $2 billion has been spent in settlements, including a large settlement in Los Angles with an alleged 500 victims and $660 million awarded in damages in 2007. Several dioceses filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy since 2004 to protect themselves from the large settlements being awarded due to the sexual child abuse in their parishes.