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Florence Fruehan arrest Horowitz Law

Former Palm Coast Doctor Florence Fruehan Arrested on Charges He Abused Elderly Patients

Florence Fruehan was arrested on January 16, 2019 in Flagler County on two felony battery charges involving alleged sexual misconduct perpetrated on elderly patients of his former medical practice. Both alleged victims are older than 65. Under Florida law, battery of a person 65 or older is a felony.  These were not the only reports of sexual misconduct that the Sheriff’s Office receive concerning Florence Fruehan.  Numerous other female patients lodged similar complaints.  According to the arrest affidavit, Freuhan “shows a pattern of violating the rights of female patients that appear to be vulnerable because of specific medications they are prescribed and/or family losses, and their age. He also displays behavior the victims collectively describe as intimidating.”

This is just the latest in a long line of criminal allegations involving Florence Fruehan, age 59, who has surrendered his medical license in August 2018.  He was previously charged with two misdemeanor sexual battery charges in September 2018.  Those charges were dropped by the State Attorney’s office due to concerns related to the statute of limitations.  He was charged with sexual battery in May 2006 after a 26-year-old Palm Coast woman accused him of touching her inappropriately during an exam while her husband was in the room.  Flagler County courthouse records also indicate that  Dr.. Fruehan was the subject of two arrests for misdemeanor battery–on June 23, 1995, and  on Jan. 16, 1996.   The charges were all dropped.

The alleged victims in the criminal charges were 72 and 77 years old at the time of their office visits to Dr. Florence Fruehan. The 72-year-old woman was a long-time patient of Fruehan, as had been her late husband before his death in 2015, and the couple had long considered Fruehan a friend, according to the charging affidavit. They had previously socialized together outside the office. The woman had gone to his office on Pine Cone Drive on March 10, 2016 for a routine physical so she could get a prescription medication.   After the exam, Fruehan allegedly grabbed the woman’s hand and led her to another office, where Fruehan appeared to lock the door after they entered. “Dr. Fruehan unzipped [the woman’s] black vest, unbuttoned the top two buttons of her blouse and began touching her breast on the outside of her bra with his hands,” the arrest report states. “He then grabbed her other breast lifting it up and touching it.” Fruehan then left the room. The woman described herself as being in complete shock. She dressed, left the room and left the clinic as quickly as possible. She found a new doctor and never returned.

The woman’s description of the alleged groping follows much the same pattern that other women have reported, including the woman who originated the complaint to the Department of Health, and the 77-year-old woman who is the alleged victim in the other felony charge against Fruehan.  In that instance, the woman, who suffers from hypertension and required regular check-ups– Fruehan was her primary care physician– had gone to Fruehan’s Urgent Care clinic on March 29, 2017.  Her physical exam began routinely, as it had many times previously. But at one point, Fruehan allegedly placed his stethoscope directly on the woman’s left nipple and pressed down, according to the arrest report. The woman felt uncomfortable as Fruehan had never done that before in all the years he’d been treating her.

When Fruehan told her she could sit back, he made conversation with her unrelated to her health (he advised her to get out more often), then allegedly asked her about her opinion of oral sex, using cruder terms. She told him abruptly: “I have no opinion.” The woman decided to find another doctor and told Fruehan’s staff that she would be leaving the practice.  When Fruehan found out, he called her four times. She saved the messages.

Dr. Florence Fruehan has long history of criminal charges arising from alleged sexual misconduct.  He was previously charged with two misdemeanor sexual battery charges in September 2018.  Those charges were dropped by the State Attorney’s office.  He was charged with sexual battery in May 2006 after a 26-year-old Palm Coast woman accused him of touching her inappropriately during an exam while her husband was in the room.  Flagler County courthouse records also indicate that  Dr.. Fruehan was the subject of two arrests for misdemeanor battery–on June 23, 1995, and  on Jan. 16, 1996.   The charges were all dropped.

The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone who was a patient of Dr. Fruehan and feels that they had an inappropriate experience to call them at (386) 313-4911.

Fr. Charles Ruffenach (Diocese of Allentown)

Father Charles Ruffenach

Diocese of Allentown (Pennsylvania)

Ordained: 1930

Died: 1980

Assigned as follows:

  • 1930-1931        Holy Ghost (Bethlehem, PA)
  • 1931-1934        St. Mary of the Assumption (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1934-1979        St. John the Baptist (Stiles, PA)
  • 1979-1980        Holy Family Villa

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Charles Ruffenach:

Ruffenach was ordained for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and incardinated into the Diocese of Allentown when it was formed in 1961.

In 2001, the Diocese of Allentown received an allegation that Ruffenach abused a young boy from approximately 1945 until 1953 (Grades 1-8) at St. John the Baptist.  Ruffenach referred to the inappropriate touching as “washing his penis” to normalize it with the boy.

According to documents reviewed by the grand jury, the victim confronted Ruffenach in the 1980s and he denied any wrongdoing.  Instead, Ruffenach told the man that it was his doing, that he (the boy) had asked Ruffenach to wash his penis.

Ruffenach died in 1980. The Diocese of Allentown stated that he retired in 1979.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Allentown.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Pennsylvania, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Allentown may have legal options against the Diocese of Allentown.

Contact us at (954) 641-2100 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com today.

Can a Lawsuit Be Filed for Sexual Abuse Aboard an Airplane?

Airplane Sexual lawsuit

A lot of terrible things can happen on an airplane.  But few passengers worry about a fellow passenger committing sexual assault.  Yet, statistics reveal a recent spike in reported sexual assaults in the least likely of places — the airplane.  The FBI has eveb issued a new warning to travelers about this horrific crime.

According to one federal official, “The attacks generally occur on long haul flights when the cabin is dark. The victims are usually in the middle or window seats. The victims are usually sleeping and covered with a blanket or jacket,” he said. In 2014, there were 38 cases of sexual assault aboard an aircraft was reported to the FBI nationally. In 2017, the number of reported cases jumped to 63.

A recent survey from the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), a union of 50,000 flight attendants representing 20 airlines, suggests that in-flight sexual assault allegations are reported to law enforcement less than half of the time. The AFA survey also found that one in five flight attendants has encountered a passenger-on-passenger in-flight sexual assault.  Surprisingly, the FAA doesn’t require any sexual-assault-specific training for flight attendants. Further complicating the reporting process, crimes committed on an airplane fall under federal jurisdiction (the FBI if you’re in the United States) but local law enforcement are typically the officers that will be called to the gate.

Attorney Adam Horowitz has filed claims on behalf of passengers who were sexually assaulted while traveling on airplanes and when traveling by train.  The offending passenger as well as the airline may both be legally responsible for this sexual misconduct in a lawsuit.  While your first priority as a victim or a witness should be to deal with the immediate situation and to speak with law enforcement, it’s also important to follow up with the airline afterward to make sure the incident is documented internally, as well.

Report: 16 Women Report Morgan Freeman’s Sexual Harassment

Morgan Freeman sexual lawyer
Morgan Freeman

Morgan Freeman is the latest Hollywood celebrity to be accused by multiple women of inappropriate sexual behavior and harassment.  The alleged victims include production staff members, production assistants, and other employees at his production company Revelations Entertainment.  According to news reports, Morgan Freeman’s alleged inappropriate behavior included unwanted touching and lewd comments about the women’s physical appearance.

Horowitz Law represents victims of sexual misconduct in cases involving entertainers, musicians, and other celebrities.  If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted or otherwise subjected to unwanted sexual advance, please call sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at 954-641-2100 or send an e-mail to adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com.

Diocese of Ogdensburg Program Underway to Compensate Victims of Clergy Sexual Abuse

The Diocese of Ogdensburg has announced an Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program (IRCP) to compensate people with claims that they were sexually abused as a child by a member of the clergy in the Diocese of Ogdensburg.

Individuals who have made abuse abuse claims with the Diocese of Ogdensburg prior to March 1, 2018, can participate in this voluntary program.  The deadline for victims to submit claims is June 1, 2018.  You should hire an experienced attorney before submitting your claim.

In certain cases, the claims process may involve gathering church sacrament records, school records, witness statements, counseling/therapy records, or photographs to support your claim. For that reason, it is critical you do not wait until the deadline to submit your claim.  It is also essential that you hire an attorney who has previously handled cases involving the IRCP programs in New York State.

The IRCP is intended to compensate victims of child sexual abuse by clergy of the Diocese of Ogdensburg  The program was publicly announced by the Bishop LaValley of the Diocese of Ogdensburg on March 1, 2018.  This announcement follows the lead of Archdiocese of New York, Diocese of Brooklyn, and Diocese of Rockville Centre who employed similar programs.  Since that time, dozens of victims across New York State dating back to the 1950’s have submitted claims. It has not yet been determined how the Diocese of Ogdensburg will treat claimants who did not previously report their abuse.  The Archdiocese of New York, Diocese of Brooklyn, and Diocese of Rockville Centre have in the past agreed to compensate persons who did not previously report the abuse — and victim advocates are hopeful that the Diocese of Ogdensburg will do the same.

The Diocese of Ogdensburg’s geographical area spans eight counties in New York – Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence counties — plus the northern portion of Hamilton and Herkimer counties.  The Diocese includes 119 parishes, and also include churches, schools, convents, seminaries, hospitals, colleges, and other ministries.  The Catholic population of the Diocese of Ogdensburg is estimated to be nearly 143,000.

Sexual abuse attorney Adam Horowitz has many years of experience handling claims on behalf of victims of clergy sexual abuse throughout New York.  If you or someone you know has been a victim of a sexual abuse by any priest or clergymen affiliated with the Diocese of Ogdensburg, please e-mail attorney Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com or call our law firm at (954) 641-2100 to discuss your claim against the Diocese of Ogdensburg and learn if you are eligible for monetary compensation.  Attorney Adam Horowitz offers confidential, free evaluations of your sexual abuse claim involving priests and clergy of the Diocese of Ogdensburg.

April 30, 2018 is the Deadline to Bring Abuse Claims Against Diocese of Rockville Centre

The deadline for child sexual abuse victims to apply for compensation with the Diocese of Rockville Centre Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program (IRCP) is approaching.  Claimants have until April 30, 2018 to submit their cases.

The IRCP is intended to compensate victims of child sexual abuse by clergy of the Diocese of Rockville Centre. The program was publicly announced by the Bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre in October 2017 following the lead of Archdiocese of New York and Diocese of Brooklyn. Since that time three other Dioceses in New York —  Syracuse, Ogdensburg, and Buffalo — have announced similar claims programs.  Since that time, dozens of victims dating back to the 1950’s have submitted claims.

In certain cases, the claims process may involve gathering church sacrament records, school records, counseling/therapy records, or photographs to support your claim. For that reason, it is critical you do not wait until the deadline to submit your claim.  It is also essential that you hire an attorney who has handled cases involving the IRCP program in New York.

Sexual abuse attorney Adam Horowitz is experienced in handling claims on behalf of victims of clergy sexual abuse throughout New York. If you or someone you know has been a victim of a sexual abuse by any priest or clergymen affiliated with the Diocese of Rockville Centre, please e-mail attorney Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com or call our law firm at (954) 641-2100 to discuss your claim against the Diocese of Rockville Centre and learn if you are eligible for monetary compensation. Attorney Adam Horowitz offers confidential, free evaluations of your sexual abuse claim involving priests and clergy of the Diocese of Rockville Centre.

Atlanta Massage Therapist Sexually Assaulted Client According to New Lawsuit

A newly-filed lawsuit alleges that massage therapist Zebulun James Garner inserted in his finger into a client’s vagina near the end of a massage appointment at the Massage Envy on Howell Mill Road in Atlanta in September 2016.  This is just the latest of multiple allegations of sexual assault by massage therapists employed at Massage Envy franchises in the Atlanta area

“What are you doing! What is going on!”, the client exclaimed according to the lawsuit.  Garner replied, “It was something about you,” according to the lawsuit.  The client told the franchise manager what occurred.  About a week later, the manager told the victim that the therapist had not denied the allegation and had been fired.

The lawsuit alleges that franchise owner Atlanta Health Solutions was aware of prior sexual assaults on customers at Massage Envy locations he owned, but he had failed to properly screen, hire train and supervise Garner. The woman is seeking damages from Atlanta Health Solutions, owner Patrick Greco and from franchisor Massage Envy Franchising.

Attorney Adam Horowitz has filed dozens of sexual misconduct claims against massage therapists on behalf of clients who were inappropriately touched.  He handles case across the country.  A massage therapist is never permitted to have sexual contact with a client.  If you have a been a victim of sexual assault or sexual battery during a massage at Massage Envy or any spa, or if you know someone who has, please contact our law firm at (954) 641-2100 or send an email to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz  at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com

 

Cesar Guerrero massage

Massage Envy Therapist Pleads Guilty to Sexual Attack, Required to Register as Sex Offender

 

Cesar Guerrero, a former massage therapist in Central Florida, was sentenced to fifteen years years of probation and ordered to register as a Sex Offender after he pleaded guilty to sexual battery of a female client at Massage Envy location in Winter Garden, Florida.

Guerrero was accused of sexually assaulting and groping a woman at the Massage Envy in Winter Garden in December 2015.  Additional women also have come forward with accusations, several of which result in civil lawsuits. All of the civil cases were filed by attorney Adam Horowitz.  The other cases did not result in criminal charges.

The courageous victim had an opportunity to confront her accuser in Court.  “I will not stand here today to recount the pain, the suffering, the tears and the strife,” she said. “My only hope for you is that you seek the professional help that you need and understand why you did what you did and why you are the way you are.”

If you have a been a victim of sexual assault or battery during a massage at Massage Envy, or if you know someone who has, please contact our law firm at (954) 641-2100 or send an email to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com

 

Michael Hands, Former Priest of Diocese of Rockville Centre, Dies of Apparent Suicide in Jail

Michael Hands, a 51-year old former priest of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, was found dead in his jail cell in upstate New York of an apparent suicide.  Hands was serving prison time for sexually abusing a 14-year-old Long Island boy in August 2000.  His death came just days after he was sentenced to up to eight years in prison after pleading guilty last month to two counts of third-degree criminal sexual act with a minor.  Hands, who was reportedly a victim of abuse himself, had previously been convicted in 2003 of molesting a 13-year-old boy on Long Island. He served two years in prison and cooperated with a grand jury investigation into abusive priests on Long Island at the time.

Father Hands has admitted to sexual contact with a a child under the age of 17 on two occasions in July in the upstate town of Charlton, according to news reports. Investigators   said that he began a relationship with the boy online and then met the victim in person.

The Diocese of Rockville Centre has created a compensation program to offer settlements to victims of sexual abuse by clergy of the Diocese of Rockville Centre. Father Michael Hands is one of the priests who has been the subject of multiple complaints of childhood sexual abuse.  The Diocese includes parishes and other ministries in Nassau and Suffolk Counties in New York.  Attorney Adam Horowitz is currently assisting survivors of abuse in this claims process.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of a sexual abuse by Father Michael Hands or some other clergyman affiliated with the Diocese of Rockville Centre, please e-mail attorney Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com or call our law firm at (954) 641-2100 to discuss your claim against the Diocese and learn if you are eligible for compensation.   Attorney Adam Horowitz is offering confidential, free evaluations of your sexual abuse claim involving priests of the Diocese of Rockville Centre.

Sexual Assaults by Massage Therapists

massage sexual lawyer

Massage Therapy is a billion dollar industry with one in four adults having had a massage within the past year.  Countless people go to spas, hotels, and other locations to receive a massage for relaxation, pain relief, detox, or therapy. Unfortunately, there are an extraordinary number of incidents of sexual assault in the massage therapy setting. In recent months, there have been well-publicized complaints and lawsuits alleging sexual assaults by massage therapists in the spa setting. These incidents have occurred in locations ranging from large national chains such as Massage Envy and Hand & Stone to luxury hotel spas to smaller storefront spas. Sadly, the perpetrators of these assaults are often repeat offenders and prey on the vulnerability of their clients.

Sexual abuse in the massage therapy setting is among the most traumatic and under-reported of all forms of sexual assault. Massage therapists in most states are licensed and regulated by the Department of Health or Board of Massage Therapy. No massage therapist should ever make contact with your genital area or breasts. Indeed, sexual contact between massage therapists and clients is strictly prohibited under professional ethics and licensing rules as well as criminal law in most states.  During a massage, clients are in an extraordinarily vulnerable setting. They are often undressed in a darkened room with a complete stranger (often of the opposite sex) whom they are expected to trust while lying in a prone position and seeking a relaxing experience. Given these circumstances, the massage therapist is actually aided in his commission of the assault by virtue of the conditions of his employment and his status as a licensed massage therapist.  The imbalance of power between massage therapist and client adds to the fear and anxiety when sexual contact is initiated by the massage therapist. Often times due to shock and fear of the sexual contact, the client will go into an involuntary “freeze response” to cope with the trauma of the assault. This is a completely normal physiological response because the sexual contact is unexpected and the brain was previously attempting to go into a state of relaxation. Due to the “freeze response”, a client sexually assaulted in the massage setting often fails to immediately scream for help or otherwise report an assault. Sometimes victims of sexual assault experience guilt or shame if they did not immediately stop the sexual contact or report it right away. The “freeze response” is a completely normal response and the victims should not feel shame or guilt. It is never too late to report a massage therapist for sexual assault.

If you have a been a victim of sexual assault in a spa or during a massage, or if you know someone who has, please contact our law firm at (954) 641-2100 or send an email to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com.  We handle lawsuits against Massage Envy, Massage Green, Planet Beach Spray & Spa, Hand & Stone, and Massage Heights among many other spas and hotels.