Sexual abuse is on the rise in schools, impacting students and athletes of all ages. A recent study issued by the U.S. Education Department confirmed that reports of sexual violence in schools rose more than 50% between the 2015 and 2016 school year. That dramatic increase has rightfully caused parents to be outraged, with many taking steps to increase vigilance in an effort to keep their children safe.
Filing a civil lawsuit can be a means of recovering financial compensation for resulting trauma or harm caused through childhood sexual abuse/molestation.
Below we’ll review how teacher and coach sexual abuse impacts students of any age, gender, race, religion, and socioeconomic level. We’ll also review how to file a civil claim to secure the justice and financial compensation your family deserves.
Sexual abuse can be particularly traumatic for a child when it happens in an educational setting that should always be a safe space, like at a school or on a sports team. In 2015, a staggering 3.5 million students in 8th – 11th grade reported sexual contact with an adult.
Children are considered minors under California law. Accordingly, a child is nevers able to give consent, and any sexual act involving a minor is considered abuse. Under the law, teacher or coach abuse can entail sexual assault or sexual exploitation.
California law broadly defines child sexual assault as including any sexual act, such as rape, sodomy, incest, oral sex, etc. Furthermore, the following actions by a teacher or coach constitute a sex crime under the law:
Under California law, sexual exploitation of a child can also include depicting a minor in any of the aforementioned acts that are considered sexual assault. Teachers or coaches who promote, use, or coerce a child into participating in (or encouraging others to participate in) the following actions are committing sexual exploitation:
Additionally, the law explicitly forbids any teacher or coach from coercing a child’s guardian into allowing such sexual exploitation or assault.
We’ve outlined specific steps to protect children from sexual predators such as pedophile teachers or coaches in a previous blog. Firstly, identifying common warning signs in both adults who may be predators and children who may be being abused can be very important in reducing such abuse.
Monitoring for adults displaying the following signs is recommended:
Teacher or coach sex abuse can be physical, emotional, and/or psychological. While sexual predators often go to great lengths to hide any visible physical trauma to a child victim, parents are encouraged to remain vigilant for the following warning signs:
In some cases of teacher or coach sexual abuse, pregnancy can develop. Additionally, children who are abused by teachers or coaches can display behavioral or psychological changes, such as:
Dordulian Law Group (DLG) is proud to be a member of RAINN’s (the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) National Leadership Council. For concerned parents, RAINN recommends the following preventative steps:
As we’ve noted in previous blogs, sexual abuse by teachers and coaches impacts both girls and boys. Contrary to the popular misconception, boys are sexually abused by female teachers and coaches every day throughout the country.
Here in Glendale, California, a 26-year-old female teacher from Salem Lutheran School was arrested for having unprotected sex (on multiple occasions) with a 14-year-old male student. While serving as a chaperone on a student field trip to Washington D.C., Jacqueline Nicole Miller reportedly engaged in sexual intercourse with the teen. She was charged with first-degree child sexual abuse in 2018.
Teacher and coach sexual abuse happens right here in our community. When it occurs, parents and children deserve swift justice. By filing a civil lawsuit, survivors of teacher or coach sexual abuse can recover financial compensation for various types of harm endured (what are known as damages under the law).
At DLG, we handle sexual assault and abuse cases impacting both adults and children every day. From the Boy Scouts of America to the Catholic Church, DLG’s Sam Dordulian – a former sex crimes prosecutor and Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County – has nearly two decades of experience representing survivors of childhood sexual abuse, helping them get the justice they deserve.
In many cases, justice for childhood sexual abuse is achieved long after the actual crime occurred.
Under California AB 218, survivors of childhood sexual abuse – whether involving a teacher, coach, priest, or other individual/entity – are automatically eligible to file a civil claim in pursuit of financial damages, regardless of how long ago the crime occurred.
AB 218 is recent legislation that tolls (pauses) the standard statute of limitations on teacher or coach childhood sexual abuse crimes for a limited time (through what is known as the bill’s three-year “lookback window” clause). Under the lookback window, any survivor of childhood sexual abuse who wishes to officially file a claim may do so through the end of 2022. Decades-old sexual abuse crimes that would have otherwise been barred from proceeding under the legal process may now be filed as eligible civil claims under AB 218.
AB 218 represents an unprecedented opportunity at justice for thousands of survivors of California teacher or coach childhood sexual abuse. The justice that would have been denied to these survivors can now be obtained, but only for a limited period of time. The deadline for filing a childhood sexual abuse claim under AB 218 is January 1, 2023. After that date, many survivors of teacher or coach sexual abuse – particularly those whose crimes took place many years ago – will no longer have legal recourse.
Under AB 218, the three-year lookback window is only available through the end of 2022. That’s why DLG’s Sex Crimes Division strongly encourages all teacher or coach sexual abuse survivors to come forward as soon as possible and file a claim in pursuit of justice.
AB 218 allows a survivor of teacher or coach childhood sexual abuse the opportunity to come forward and file a civil claim until his or her 40th birthday. After turning 40, if the AB 218 three-year lookback window is closed, survivors of teacher or coach sexual abuse will no longer be able to file a claim.
An exception to this rule involves the discovery of a psychological injury (such as post-traumatic stress disorder/PTSD) in adulthood that is the result of childhood sexual abuse. In such cases, the survivor has five years from the date of discovering the psychological injury to come forward and file a claim within the statute of limitations.
The value of a teacher or coach sexual abuse claim can depend on a number of factors, such as:
Under AB 218, survivors of teacher or coach sexual abuse may be able to collect triple damages under what’s known as the bill’s ‘treble damages’ clause. Treble (triple) damages may be awarded by the court in instances where a cover-up occurred.
Institutions such as the Boy Scouts of America and the Catholic Church allowed a culture of systemic and pervasive childhood sexual abuse to occur for decades. In many cases, purposeful cover-ups by high-ranking officials were imposed to hide those horrific crimes from the public eye (and the halls of justice).
If a cover-up is proven, and your teacher or coach sexual abuse claim is filed within the AB 218 three-year lookback window, you may be eligible to recover triple financial compensation. For example, if a settlement of $1 million was awarded in your teacher or coach sexual abuse case and a cover-up was proven, the court may actually increase the final amount you receive to $3 million.
DLG pursues treble damages in all applicable teacher, coach, clergy, individual, or institutional child sexual abuse cases.
The objective in filing a teacher/coach sexual abuse civil claim is to secure justice by recovering financial compensation from the perpetrator (or perpetrator’s institution). Choosing a qualified, competent, experienced, and dedicated teacher/coach sexual abuse lawyer to handle your claim can be the difference between a $1,000 settlement and a $1 million settlement.
Dordulian Law Group (DLG) offers survivors of childhood sexual abuse unparalleled experience, commitment, and proven results. Our founder and president, Sam Dordulian, previously served as a sex crimes prosecutor and Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County.
In that role, Dordulian secured over 100 jury trial victories, helping to obtain life sentences against dangerous and often violent sexual predators. That level of experience is hard to find in a California teacher/coach sexual abuse attorney. But with DLG, you not only have years of critical experience and proven results – you also have a team of dedicated professionals available as a 24/7 support network.
Dordulian created DLG’s Sex Crimes Division to include a SAJE Team (Sexual Assault Justice Experts) of handpicked professionals who offer added resources for survivors of teacher/coach sexual abuse. Sam Dordulian established the SAJE Team after representing hundreds of sexual abuse survivors as Deputy District Attorney. During his time as a sex crimes prosecutor, Dordulian realized that survivors of childhood sexual abuse require more than just expert legal representation.
That’s why DLG survivors of teacher/coach sexual abuse have 24/7 access to our four-tiered network of unique personal resources and all-encompassing support:
If you wish to pursue justice in your teacher or coach sexual abuse case, choosing the best attorney to help achieve that justice is a very important decision. Don’t put your claim in the hands of an inexperienced, unqualified, or undedicated firm that may jeopardize the success of your case and the ultimate financial compensation you receive.
“I wanted to give a review to the law firm, they work very different from other offices, they tell you everything as they know about your case not giving you false hope! They also keep you updated throughout the process from the beginning and the end. Rafi was very professional and on point, he always handled everything excellent and went above and beyond!”
Teacher or coach sexual abuse survivors deserve the absolute best legal representation available. With a 98% success record and over $100,000,000 recovered in settlements and verdicts for our clients, DLG provides that rare level of ‘best’ legal representation and more – with the added advantages provided by our SAJE Team.
Childhood sexual abuse survivors should be selective in the attorney search process, conducting extensive research and due diligence to ensure their claim is in the best possible hands. Informed clients choose DLG because of the personalized, professional, and discreet attention we provide. Contact us today online or by phone at 818-322-4056 for a free consultation.
At DLG, we believe survivors of teacher/coach sexual abuse, and we’ll fight to ensure you receive the justice you deserve – regardless of how long ago the crime occurred. We’ll listen to the facts of your case, launch a thorough investigation, and develop a precise and detailed legal strategy in an aggressive pursuit of a maximum financial damages award. Choose a legal advocate with the experience and proven results that will give you peace of mind throughout the legal process.
Choose DLG to handle your Los Angeles, California, teacher or coach sexual abuse claim.
Our law firm in Glendale, CA advocates for victims of sexual assault, injury, employment disputes, and personal injury concerns.