A former hockey coach from west St. Louis County was sentenced today to 14 years in federal prison for performing sex acts with one minor and trying to persuade another to send him nude photos. This case is unsettling for any parent with children playing organized sports or participating in any other organized group or club activity.
Under the law, sexual abuse or misconduct is any circumstance in which one person uses physical force, the threat of harm, or a position of authority to demand another individual to submit to and engage in non-consensual sexual activity. The victim in such cases can be anyone – male, female, young, old, or disabled. While physical injury can result from sexual abuse, more often than not, the injuries suffered by the victim are psychological in nature and can have lasting implications on the victim’s overall quality of life.
Can I file a sex abuse personal injury claim?
Yes. In addition to state criminal charges, the perpetrator can also face a civil lawsuit. In a civil lawsuit, the victim has the opportunity to seek monetary compensation from the abuser to cover damages, such as medical expenses for therapy and counseling, lost wages, pain, and physical and psychological suffering.
Under certain circumstances, an organization can also be held liable in a personal injury sex abuse claim. This is especially true if the sponsoring organization, such as a school, church or sports team, failed to follow risk mitigation practices, such as background checks and criminal history screenings on prospective employees or volunteers.
Filing a sexual abuse personal injury lawsuit can be quite stressful and proving the claim can be very challenging. The victim will be asked to retell every detail of the horrifying circumstances of the abuse, which can be very traumatic. It is highly recommended that a victim seek out a trusted personal injury attorney with experience handling sexual abuse claims. Working with an attorney with a high degree of compassion, discretion and respect will empower a victim to seek justice.
Matt Casey and Matt Devoti have over 16 years of experience handling sensitive sexual abuse personal injury claims. As always, our attorneys offer free, no-obligation consultations in order to review the circumstances of each individual case.