Los Angeles Sexual Molestation Attorneys and Invasion of Personal Privacy Lawyers
Sexual molestation is a disturbingly common problem throughout Southern California. According to the Child Molestation Research & Prevention Institute, at least one in five girls and one in 10 boys will be sexually abused by the time they become teens.
The vast majority of child sex abuse is perpetrated by adults that a child knows, such as a relative, coach, priest, or teacher. Organizations that permit child molestation to occur face legal liability arising out of their failure to protect our society’s youngest and most vulnerable members from serious and lasting harm.
The Southern California law firm of Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, handles a wide range of sexual molestation cases. We can help child sex abuse victims obtain justice by filing civil lawsuits against their molesters and the organizations that permitted the assaults to occur.
No other personal injury law firm in California has recovered more compensation for its clients than Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP. We can litigate even the most challenging sex abuse cases. To arrange a free consultation with our attorneys, email us or call (310) 576-1200 today. Consultations are all confidential, with no obligation.
Our Award-Winning Sex Abuse Lawyers
In November 2018, the Consumer Attorneys of California honored Greene Broillet & Wheeler attorney Taylor Rayfield with its annual award for Street Fighter of the Year in our state. The award stemmed from a case involving a student-athlete who suffered sexual abuse by a wrestling coach at Torrance High School. Ms. Rayfield secured a $1.75 million settlement for the student, setting the standard for almost 30 additional cases involving sex abuse victims at that high school.
Ms. Rayfield’s work exposed the school’s knowledge of sexual abuse allegations against the coach dating back to 2004. The school failed to investigate the complaints or report them to law enforcement as the law requires. Instead, the school allowed a sexual predator to continue working at the school with unsupervised contact with more than 30 young boys. The coach was convicted of 29 felony and eight misdemeanor charges, resulting in a prison sentence of at least 64 years.
The case helped to raise awareness about sexual abuse in our schools and demonstrated that our law firm fights to hold schools and organizations liable to the fullest extent under the law when they allow sexual molestation to occur and fail to take the necessary steps to keep children safe. The above case is only one example of how our lawyers dedicate themselves to protecting the rights and safety of children from sex abuse.
Our Results Speak Volumes
Physical and mental injuries stemming from child sex abuse can throw off the entire trajectory of victims’ lives. Attorneys should always handle these cases with particular care to ensure that children and their families receive full compensation for all of their injuries while remaining sensitive to their feelings.
We regularly help parents stand up for the rights of their injured children. The following are only some examples of our case results when child injuries are involved:
- $36.1 million for young girl hit by a car at her bus stop
- $10 million for a child who suffered a life-altering brain injury
- $8.8 million for a 14-year-old girl who suffered a severe brain injury
- $6.4 million for a 17-year-old boy who suffered a traumatic brain injury
- $4.9 million for a baby who suffered brain damage during birth
- $4.1 million for a 12-year-old with serious head trauma
We see firsthand how a severe injury can completely change a child’s life, including their educational and professional opportunities as they age. The lifetime losses of an injured child can easily reach seven figures. Our firm has obtained more multimillion-dollar settlements and jury awards for clients than any other injury law firm in California. When your child suffers from life-changing injuries, you should always contact us right away for help.
Handling Sensitive Sex-Crime and Invasion of Personal Privacy Cases
At Greene, Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, we regularly handle cases involving sensitive and traumatic situations. Sex-crime and personal privacy cases are, of course, highly personal matters, and we understand how difficult it is to face and relive the trauma of sexual and privacy violations, no matter the age of our clients. Our attorneys know how to handle these cases with the care and attention each client deserves and to provide the support they need during the legal process.
Our firm proudly represented television personality Erin Andrews in a high-profile case against a stalker and Marriott Hotels. Marriott informed a man which room Andrews was in, and the man then took unauthorized video of Andrews in the nude, publishing the videos online. Our firm secured a $55 million jury verdict for Andrews.
Our handling of this case helped expose the problem of online trafficking of non-consensual sensitive photographs and video, and led to efforts in different states to increase the penalties for anyone convicted of unlawfully videoing or photographing another person for sexual gratification, as well as increased protection against stalking. The case led to proposed legislation in Tennessee to require registration for such sex offenders, as well as a bill in California called Simplifying the Ambiguous Law, Keeping Everyone Reliably Safe Act, or STALKERS.
Not only does the legal team at Greene, Broillet & Wheeler work to obtain the compensation that victims of sex crimes deserve, but we also work to improve safety laws for the rights and protections of sex crime victims of all ages. We want to make positive changes to prevent sexual assault, abuse or exploitation, and invasion of privacy, and ensure that victims have the rights they deserve.
If you, your child, or loved one suffered sexual molestation, assault, or exploitation, you should not wait any longer to discuss your rights with an experienced member of our legal team.
What Is Child Molestation?
Child sex abuse can take many forms. It generally involves sex-related conduct with a minor and can involve touching, exploitation, or a variety of nontouching behaviors.
According to the American Humane Association, child molestation that involves physical conduct includes:
- Fondling or touching a child’s private areas
- Making a child touch an adult’s sexual organs
- Penetrating a child’s vagina or anus with any object without a valid medical purpose
Molestation that does not involve physical conduct may include:
- Indecent exposure in front of a minor
- Allowing a child to be exposed to pornography
- Sexual exhibitionism in front of a child
Exploitation of a child could include:
- Forcing or soliciting a child into prostitution
- Using a child to produce pornography
The broad definitions of child abuse encompass many behaviors. Some child sex abuse does not leave much physical evidence, so consult a law firm that knows how to clearly but empathetically communicate the impact of child sex abuse to a jury.
This is essential to maximizing your recovery and ensuring that molesters and their protectors are held accountable for allowing the abuse to occur.
Child Sex Abuse: Warning Signs and Impact
Every child reacts differently to sexual abuse, but many warning signs may indicate abuse.
Babies and toddlers may exhibit:
- Failure to thrive
- Sleep issues
- Stomach and bowel irritations
- Eating problems
- Excessive crying
Children between the ages of two and nine may exhibit:
- Eating problems
- Night terrors and other sleeping problems
- Fear of a particular place or person
- Regression to earlier behaviors such as thumb sucking and bed wetting
- Shame or guilt
- Victimization of others
- Inappropriate sexual activity
Older children and adolescents may exhibit:
- Eating disorders
- Early pregnancy
- Substance abuse issues
- Poor grades
- Suicidal gestures and ideation
- Running away from home
- Sleeping problems
No single behavior is a definitive indication of sexual abuse. These behaviors may also arise during other emotionally challenging times such as divorce, relocation, or deaths in the family.
If you notice your child acting strangely, talk to them and remind them they are in a safe place with you. Many molesters use lies and threats to keep victims from telling their parents or another trusted adult what happened to them. Always promise your child that you will not judge them and let them know they should not feel ashamed to honestly discuss any experience with sexual abuse.
Whether molestation is a one-time occurrence or whether it continues for months or years, your child can suffer serious harm and has important legal rights. As a parent, learning your child suffered such harmful experiences can be difficult, but we can help you fight for your child’s rights. Please contact our firm directly to learn more about how we can help child sexual molestation victims and their families in California.
How Sexual Molestation Occurs
Sexual molestation can happen in many different ways and in a wide variety of situations. Some common forms of sexual abuse include:
- Sexual abuse in schools
- Sexual abuse by teachers
- Sexual abuse by coaches
- Sexual abuse of special needs children
- Sexual abuse committed by another young student
- Sexual abuse in youth organizations, such as the Boy Scouts
- Sexual abuse by clergy or in religious organizations
- Sexual abuse by a medical provider
- Date rape by peers in high school or college
Each case will have unique circumstances and our attorneys can evaluate the best options in your specific situation.
How sexual abuse occurs and the identity of the abuser dictates whom you may hold liable for your child’s injuries and losses.
Liability for Your Child’s Losses
The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) reports that the large majority of child sex abusers are adult males and most molested children knew their abusers. Many abuse cases happen as a result of unsupervised contact with children, often through a school, sports program, church, or another organization. If sexual molestation took place through an organization, that organization may be responsible because it hired a dangerous individual and failed to take steps to prevent abuse.
Institutionalized abuse is all too common, and the following are some examples of how this occurs:
- A priest molests a child while providing counsel and mentorship
- A coach for a private soccer organization molests a young athlete
- A Boy Scout leader molests a child during a camping trip
- An educator molests a student during an afterschool program
- A medical professional molests a young patient under the guise of providing medical treatment
- A manager molests a young employee at a restaurant
In these situations, the abuser is often in a position of authority, which makes it particularly dangerous for the child. The child may develop trust issues when it comes to adult leaders in the future.
Schools and youth-related organizations have a duty to ensure the safety of students and participants. When an institution knew or should have known about abuse risks and failed to keep children safe, the institution, in addition to the individual abuser, may face liability for a child’s harm.
The following organizations are commonly held responsible in sexual molestation cases:
- Hospitals or networks
- School districts
- Boy Scouts of America or Girl Scouts of the USA
- Churches or synagogues
Determining all possible liable parties is critical as sexual molestation cases often involve devastating injuries and losses.
Sexual abuse can lead to many physical and mental injuries, including:
- Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
- Traumatic injuries to the genitals
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Depression and anxiety
All of the above can lead to lasting injuries, which can damage a child’s ability to thrive in school, sports, or other activities. Often, sexual abuse will lead to behavioral issues in the child, which can cause them to engage in substance abuse, missing school, and other risky behaviors. If a child’s grades suffer due to sexual molestation, it can hurt their ability to get into certain colleges and perhaps future job opportunities.
Because the stakes are so high, speak with an experienced sexual molestation attorney who understands how to seek justice for you and your family. Our firm stands up for sex abuse victims and strives to make a difference in their lives and the lives of others.
Criminal versus Civil Sex Abuse Cases
Sexual battery is a crime in California, as is the sexual exploitation of a minor, prostitution and solicitation, and other sex crimes commonly involved in child sex abuse. If you reported your child’s molestation to law enforcement, the prosecutor’s office will investigate the allegations and file criminal charges. Criminal charges can result in penalties including a prison sentence, fines, and sex offender registration.
Criminal sex cases are important because they punish the abuser, though they are often inadequate to help victims. California does have a crime victims compensation fund, though the funds can be limited and likely will not come close to covering your losses. Discuss with us the option of filing a personal injury lawsuit against the perpetrator and any liable institutions.
An injury lawsuit allows you to seek compensation for all of your child’s losses, including:
- Medical expenses – Children should receive medical treatment, including doctor visits for STD testing and injury treatment, psychological treatment for PTSD or other mental disorders, medications, and any ongoing treatment your child will need in the future.
- Pain and suffering – Sexual abuse can have long-term effects, including mental anguish, distress, fear, physical pain, and psychological difficulties. You can seek damages for your child’s pain and suffering after sexual abuse.
- Lost opportunities – Sometimes, sexual abuse will lead a child down a path that they otherwise would not have followed. This can cause a child to get held back a year in school, prevent them from eligibility at certain colleges or sports programs, and much more. Children deserve financial recovery for their long-term lost opportunities.
- Punitive damages – Punitive damages are recoverable in many California sexual molestation cases, as the abuser intentionally caused harm to a child. Punitive damages may also apply if a school or institution tried to cover up or ignore abuse when it should have taken action to stop the abuse and protect the child.
No amount of money can ever turn back the clock and prevent sexual molestation from happening. However, compensation can help your child and your family move forward without financial losses and with a greater sense of justice. It can also protect others from suffering the same fate at the hands of the same perpetrators, and the institutions that allowed it to occur.
While a civil lawsuit is a separate matter from a criminal case, our attorneys know how to use criminal convictions for sex crimes to our clients’ advantage in their civil cases. We know how to handle this complex and traumatic situation, and we can stand up for your rights while always treating you and your child with dignity and respect. Taking action to initiate a sex abuse case is never easy, though our legal team can make the process as easy as possible for you in this difficult time.
We Provide Legal Help for Child Sex Abuse Victims
The California law firm of Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, is dedicated to helping sex abuse victims obtain justice. Our firm is known throughout the country for obtaining substantial verdicts on behalf of individuals who were injured due to the negligent or intentional actions of others.
We are capable of bringing personal injury lawsuits against any organization that could have stopped child sex abuse from happening, but failed to do so. Medical experts can testify regarding the severe long-term effects of sex abuse and how organizational failures allow sexual predators to prey on young Californians. We have the resources and experience necessary to protect your rights.
If you or a loved one has suffered from sexual abuse or invasion of privacy, call us at (310) 576-1200 or contact us online to arrange your consultation. Our firm handles molestation and invasion of privacy lawsuits throughout the Los Angeles area—including Long Beach, Anaheim, San Bernardino, Riverside, and Orange County—and the rest of the state. We also consult with attorneys throughout the nation.