Abuse in Boarding Schools

Connecticut is home to a number of boarding schools, many of which are nationally known. Unfortunately, some of these schools have done a better job of protecting their name and reputations than protecting students.

At Tremont Sheldon Robinson Mahoney in Bridgeport, Connecticut, our lawyers represent the victims of child sexual abuse. We have successfully held boarding schools and other educational institutions accountable when they failed to protect children in their care. If your child was abused by a teacher, coach, staff member or volunteer while attending a private or boarding school in Connecticut, call us at 203-212-9075 for a free initial consultation. Even if the abuse occurred years ago, your child may be entitled to compensation.

Holding Boarding Schools Responsible

When you place your child in a boarding school, you place a high level of trust in the institution to protect your child from harm. You are not there to be watchful for signs of inappropriate contacts between your child and teachers, coaches and others at the school.

Staff members in boarding schools have greater access to children outside of the classroom than teachers in a public school. Sexual predators may abuse dozens of children over a long period of time, while protected behind the ivied walls of a respected institution. These schools can be held accountable when they:

  • Fail to report suspected incidents of child sexual abuse
  • Fail to conduct appropriate background checks on teachers and staff
  • Fail to follow the school’s own policies to prevent child sexual abuse

Our civil justice system can provide a strong financial motivation to these institutions to stop child sexual abuse. It can also provide compensation for the victims.

For More Information About Abuse in Boarding Schools

Please contact our attorneys for a free and confidential consultation. Our lawyers handle cases of sexual abuse in schools, churches, youth sports leagues and other settings.

Child Sexual Abuse Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Prove a Molestation Case?

A. Child sexual abuse can take many forms and be difficult to prove, especially if the physical injuries are no longer present. However, many physicians and behavioral specialists are able to spot the warning signs of sexual abuse in children and can help build a strong case against the abuser. Our lawyers are experienced in working with the right experts to help with your claim.

Can You Sue a Teacher for Sexual Abuse?

A. Yes. Teachers can be held liable in a civil claim for sexual abuse against minor students. Like with all civil claims for child sexual abuse, it is important to work with an attorney right away to make sure all evidence is collected and documented to help build your case.

What Are My Legal Rights if I Was Sexually Abused as a Child?

A. Our lawyers represent victims who were sexually abused as children (under the age of 18). The law only allows victims to bring a claim up until the age of 48. Do not wait to learn about your legal options if you were the victim of sexual abuse as a minor.

Why Choose Us?

A. We have more than 50 years of experience handling personal injury and abuse cases at Tremont Sheldon Robinson Mahoney P.C. Our firm only handles personal injury cases. Why does this matter? You wouldn’t go to an eye doctor for a foot problem — just like you shouldn’t go to a full-service law firm for your personal injury case. All we do is personal injury cases, and our success in these cases is proven by our history and record.

What is the statute of limitations with regard to filing a sexual abuse claim?

A. Victims who claim damages for sexual abuse, sexual assault or sexual exploitation as a child can file a claim up to 30 years past the age of abuse (typically until the age of 48) in Connecticut.

However, if you claim damages as a result of being sexually assaulted as an adult, then you have a much shorter time period in which to file a lawsuit. Typically, you have three years from the date of the assault to file against the perpetrator for his or her intentional acts and two years from the date of the assault to file against any other person or entity (e.g., perpetrator’s employer) who may have been negligent in allowing the perpetrator to have contact with you.

If there is a criminal case presently pending against the perpetrator, can I still file a civil suit?

A. Yes. The two cases can proceed at the same time, but there may be reasons to wait, if possible, until the criminal case concludes.

What is the difference between criminal and civil cases? Is there a different burden of proof?

A. Many people know that the burden of proof (or evidence needed to prove the case) in a criminal case is beyond a reasonable doubt. Criminal cases require a very high standard because being found guilty of a crime is at stake as well as the potential to go to jail. In a civil case, no one is accused of a crime and cannot be found guilty. Instead, the question in a civil case is whether a person was negligent and responsible for damages to another. The burden of proof in a civil case is lower (easier to prove) than in a criminal case. The standard to win a case is “more likely than not” that the person was at fault, or proof of just over 50 percent responsible.

The perpetrator is now dead. Can I still file a claim?

A. Yes. A claim can be filed against the estate of the perpetrator. However, there are very strict and short time restrictions for doing so.

I do not want my identity revealed. Is there a way that I can file a claim and remain anonymous?

A. You can ask permission from the court to file your case under a pseudonym (e.g., Jane Doe or John Doe). It is up to the judge to grant or deny your request.

Who are mandated reporters of suspected child abuse?

A. Under Connecticut law, the following people are mandated reporters of suspected child abuse: doctors; nurses; medical examiners; dentists; dental hygienists; psychologists; coaches; school teachers; school principals; school guidance counselors; school paraprofessionals; social workers; police officers; juvenile or adult probation and parole officers; members of the clergy; pharmacists; physical therapists; optometrists; chiropractors; podiatrists; mental health professionals; physician’s assistants; certified EMT providers; certified drug and alcohol counselors; licensed marital and family therapists; sexual assault and battered women’s counselors; paid child care providers in public or private facilities; child day care centers; licensed group and family day care centers; employees of the Department of Children and Families or the Department of Public Health if responsible for licensing day care centers, homes, or youth camps; and employees of the Office of the Child Advocate, including designated Child Advocates.

Any person so identified who in the course of his or her employment or profession has reasonable cause to believe or suspect that a child has been abused or neglected or has been inflicted with non-accidental injuries or is at imminent risk of serious harm must report or cause a report to be made in accordance with state law. Violation of the law will result in a monetary fine and required participation in an educational and training program. See Connecticut General Statutes Sections 17-101(b); 17a-101a.