Sexual Abuse by School Employees
The South Carolina personal injury lawyers at Lofton & Lofton are renowned for their knowledge and effectiveness in handling sexual abuse cases involving school employees. Since 1984, we have defended the rights of victims of negligence, including students who have been preyed upon and violated as their assailants walked free. We are proud to help families identify all perpetrators and recover the civil damages they deserve.
Sexual Abuse in South Carolina Schools
In 2011, South Carolina was rocked by the arrest of a decorated Citadel counselor who admitted to sexually abusing nearly a dozen teenage boys. The former cadet had a history of sexual misconduct at the famed academy, but only faced charges in 2007. The charges were later dropped. After graduating from the Citadel, the predator continued to work and coach at numerous schools, churches, and youth programs around Charleston before becoming principal of a Christian prep school. His arrest devastated the local community and placed the academy under scrutiny for failing to investigate the 2007 charges or follow up with law enforcement.
In 2012, a Chesterfield County coach was charged with sexually abusing two Oconee County middle school students over a decade ago. The 39-year-old was still coaching at Pageland Central High School when he was arrested. Victims between 12 and 14 came forward to report abuse dating back to 1998, resulting in more than 20 criminal charges involving children. In both these cases, the perpetrator was not the only culpable party. School administrators clearly failed to report the misconduct, and enabled their employees to not only continue teaching, but to prey on other victims at other schools. These parties are both civilly and criminally liable for abuse.
Sexual Misconduct by School Employees
As mandatory reporters of sexual abuse and domestic violence, schools have a duty to inform authorities of alleged abuse by employees. Prohibited sexual conduct may involve:
- Coercion, duress
- Sexual harassment
- Nonconsensual touch
- Intoxication, drugging
- Sexual assault or battery
- Aggravated assault, battery
- Use of force, violence, threats
- Legal age of consent (14 to 16)
- Child pornography, molestation
- Lewd, lascivious acts with minor
- Kidnapping, extortion, other crimes
In addition to pressing criminal charges, sexual abuse victims have legal recourse to civil damages against both the assailant and any faculty members who knowingly failed to protect students.
Liability for Sexual Abuse in Schools
Under South Carolina law, schools and local districts are liable for the negligent acts of their employees. School employees clearly breach a legal duty by intentionally using a position of authority to take advantage of students. Employers are likewise negligent in failing to protect the students under their care from known predators in the school. Schools are therefore accountable for covering up relevant facts regarding employees they have hired or simply failing to face alleged charges brought by injured students. Sexual abuse victims are entitled to compensation from both the perpetrator and other liable parties for medical expenses, pain, suffering, and future costs incurred to treat the mental anguish and trauma sustained as a result of abuse.
An Experienced Attorney is Critical
If you or someone you know suspects sexual misconduct by a school employee, the South Carolina personal injury attorneys at Lofton & Lofton can help. In practice for over 25 years, we have successfully built cases against numerous criminal assailants and the institutions that protect them. We take student-school employee charges seriously, acting immediately to bring all liable parties to justice. Let us help you recover the compensation you deserve. Call (843) 722-6319 for a confidential consultation or contact us online.