The following is an excerpt from Andrea Peyser's column in the NY Post. Last week there were 2 major teacher/student sexual abuse situations that were brought to the public's attention. Many times female teacher abuse is overlooked or the public perceives it in a different way. Any teacher/student abuse is wrong and the victims suffer their entire lifetime. The other situation shows that a predator could have been stopped in the 1990s with video tape evidence; however, he was allowed to teach at a different school and is now under investigation for inappropriate contact with a 9 year old. ....... The past week will go down as a depraved chapter in public-school history. It's the week of Teachers Gone Wild -- and cruel. ...... But topping the list of deviant educators is one Thomas Gibbons, a violent pedophile I've written about for more than a decade. On Friday, Gibbons, 59, was arrested for allegedly having sexual contact with a 9-year-old New Jersey relative while visiting the child's family between January 2010 and 2011. Would it surprise you to learn that Gibbons -- a tenured New York City special-ed teacher -- was once arrested for allegedly grabbing a student by the hair inside William H. Taft HS in The Bronx, slamming her against a wall and holding a gun to her chest? He was mad that the child tried to break off a sexual relationship that began when she was 15. Guess what. He's still teaching!
The Vatican is investigating seven priests from the troubled Legion of Christ religious order for alleged sexual abuse of minors and another two for other alleged crimes.
For the past 20 years, Tremont Sheldon Robinson Mahoney has been devoted to representing the interests of individuals who were sexually abused, sexually assaulted, and sexually exploited when they were children. Over the years, we have successfully represented hundreds of childhood survivors in cases against religious institutions, hospitals, school systems, and individual perpetrators. We remain committed to this area of the law and we continue to actively represent survivors of these heinous acts. Here are a few recent updates: Dr. George Reardon/St. Francis Hospital In July of 2011, the jury in the Tim Doe v. St. Francis Hospital matter returned a verdict in the amount of $2.75 million. As expected, the Hospital appealed. What was unexpected was that the Supreme Court transferred the appeal to itself and entered orders to allow for an expedited argument. The briefing has been completed and the Court will hear argument on April 26, 2012. Teacher Abuse In March of 2012, a Superior Court judge in the Jane Doe v. Westport Board of Education matter ruled that a local Board of Education cannot use the shield of government immunity to protect it against a lawsuit by our client, a young woman, who claims she was sexually assaulted by her high school teacher.
We saw this posting on the Little League Online - Baseball and Softball and thought it provided great information. The article is below. Jill Starishevsky knows the horrors of child abuse better than most - she's a prosecutor of child abuse and sex crimes in New York City. The mother of three is also the author of My Body Belongs To Me, a children's book intended to prevent child sexual abuse by teaching children that their bodies are their own. She shares the following 10 tips for keeping children safe from predators:
The child sex-abuse accusations against former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky are staggering and yet familiar. Mr. Sandusky, the founder of the Second Mile charity for troubled boys, generously brought them to football games and treated them to food, clothes and gifts, eight men told a grand jury. He also fondled them or exposed himself or had sex with them, they testified. One might think it would be easy to prosecute such accusations made by men, now in their late teens or 20s, who tell remarkably similar stories. But federal data show that less than half of suspects in child sex-abuse cases are brought to trial, mostly because no crime can be proved against them. "It's really tough" to get justice on child sexual abuse, said Bill Murray, a Los Angeles community activist who leads the National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse.
Every year millions of children from all walks of life become victims of, or witnesses to, abusive or violent events that can result in long-lasting symptoms of distress. The events can range from sexual and physical abuse to involvement in a natural disaster, fire or serious motor vehicle accident.
A veteran biology teacher and tennis coach at Fairfield Ludlowe High School is being sued by a female student who contends he assaulted her and subjected her to sexual harassment and a hostile school environment. John Honey, a teacher at Warde High for 37 years before moving across town to Ludlowe in 2004, is named in the suit, along with the school district, by the minor and her mother.
Religious institutions have constitutional protections, but they are not above the law. Unfortunately, that has not stopped the Roman Catholic Church and other religious groups from arguing that the First Amendment shields them from civil lawsuits for negligent supervision and retention of employees who sexually abuse children. Most state courts that have considered the issue have rejected this claim by churches, recognizing that holding religious employers liable for failure to monitor employees in sex-abuse cases does not interfere with constitutionally protected religious freedoms. However, courts in Missouri, Wisconsin and Utah have twisted the First Amendment into a shield for organizational liability for pedophile clergy. In an outrageous case, a Missouri appellate court summarily dismissed a negligence case brought against the Archdiocese of St. Louis by an individual who said he had been abused by a priest. His suit charged the archdiocese with negligent failure to supervise the priest, who had a past record of child sexual abuse. The court threw out the complaint, saying that Missouri law does not allow it because judging the supervision of the priest would require inquiry into religious doctrine, which it contends would violate the First Amendment. This bizarre conclusion would grant churches a special exemption from neutral, generally applicable laws designed to protect children. The United States Supreme Court now has an opportunity to reverse this erroneous interpretation of the Constitution. The justices should grant the plaintiff's petition for review, which they are scheduled to consider on Friday. Since some 20 states have not ruled on this issue, the Supreme Court can provide urgently needed clarity. It should firmly declare that the First Amendment does not exempt religious entities from accountability for exposing children to harm. THE NEW YORK TIMES, Editorial - March 14, 2012
Parents don't want to further traumatize young victims, but handling things "discreetly" merely displaces the problem to another school or community When Bud Spillane was a school superintendent in New Rochelle, N.Y., he had to deal with removing an elementary school teacher suspected of sex abuse. "It was pretty evident he had done something," Spillane recalls. The biggest obstacle to removing him from the classroom? "Parents came out of the woodwork...against me," he says. They loved the teacher, the afterschool time he put in, and the weekend trips he liked to take students on, so they fought to keep him in school.