Los Angeles Child Molestation Attorneys
Fighting for Sex Abuse Victims in Southern California and Beyond
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. Tragically, 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.
Our Los Angeles child molestation attorneys at Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, can handle a wide range of sexual abuse cases. By filing civil lawsuits on behalf of child sex abuse victims, we have often been able to obtain justice against the molesters and the organizations that allowed the assault to occur.
For a free and confidential consultation with our legal team, call (866) 634-4525 or contact us online.
Defining 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 non-touching behaviors. Some child sex abuse does not leave behind much physical evidence, so it’s important to consult with 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.
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 also include:
- Forcing or soliciting a child into prostitution
- Using a child to produce pornography
Examples of Child Sex Abuse
The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) reports that the large majority of child sex abusers are adult males and that most molested children knew their abusers. As a result, 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.
Who Is Liable for Child Molestation?
Depending on how sexual abuse occurs and the identity of the abuser, there may be many parties who are ultimately responsible for you or your child’s suffering. Each case will have unique circumstances as well as statutes of limitation, making these cases complex and difficult to navigate at times.
Schools and youth-related organizations have an important 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 and parties are commonly held responsible in sexual molestation cases:
- School districts
- Boy Scouts of America or Girl Scouts of the USA
- Camp and youth leaders
- Churches or synagogues
- Clergy members
- Public school teachers
- Athletic coaches
- College campuses
- Hospitals or medical networks
Determining all possible liable parties is critical as sexual molestation cases often involve devastating injuries and losses. Because the stakes are so high, it’s important that you speak with an experienced sexual molestation attorney in Los Angeles who understands how to seek justice for you and your family.
Criminal vs. 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 may choose to investigate the allegations and file criminal charges.
Criminal sex cases are important because they punish the abuser – however, 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.
An injury lawsuit allows you to seek compensation for all of your child’s losses, including:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Lost opportunities
- Punitive damages
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.
Award-Winning Sex Abuse Lawyers in Southern California
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 from 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.
This 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. This is only one example of how our lawyers dedicate themselves to protecting the rights and safety of children from sex abuse.
We Provide Legal Help for Child Sex Abuse Victims
Whether child molestation is a one-time occurrence or whether it continues for months or years, your child can suffer serious psychological and physical harm. As a parent, learning that your child suffered such harmful experiences can be difficult, but we can help you fight for your child’s rights. At Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, our Los Angeles attorneys are 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, and we’re ready to advocate on behalf of your family.
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