Tag: Child Sexual Abuse

Omegle Adam Horowitz Law

Omegle: The Dangers of the Stranger-Friendly Chatroom

In late November 2021, a 19-year-old woman filed a $20 million lawsuit against Omegle, a free online chat website, claiming the site matched her with a sexual predator when she was 11.

The suit states that in 2014, a man in his late 30s matched with the claimant on Omegle, promising to help her “feel better.” For the next three years, the man forced the claimant to perform sexual acts for him and his friends by threatening to release her photos and videos, the lawsuit reads.

In 2018, Canadian police raided the man’s home and found over 3,000 files of child pornography, which included over 200 photos and videos of the claimant. The man subsequently pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography and communicating with a person under 18.

This recent lawsuit, paired with similar stories of children being groomed and abused by predators on Omegle, has raised questions about the safety and security of the web-based chatroom.

Omegle: What It Is and Who’s Using It

Omegle, founded in 2009, touts itself as “a great way to meet new friends.” With the words “talk to strangers” positioned across the top of its webpage, the web-based chatroom grants users the ability to communicate with anyone from anywhere. The online application randomly pairs users together in anonymous chatrooms where they communicate via text or video. Omegle does not verify users’ age, nor does it require users to provide email, phone numbers, or social media accounts.

Omegle is designed so that users can meet strangers quickly. Once a user wants to end an interaction, they can hit the “stop button” and be placed in another room with a different user.

While Omegle was developed more than a decade ago, the pandemic and the emergence of TikTok, has increased the online chatroom’s popularity with children. According to reports, the site grew globally from 34 million monthly visits in January 2020 to 65 million in January 2021. Reports also show that on TikTok alone, videos that are tagged with “Omegle” were watched more than 9.4 billion times.

Omegle generally requires users to be at least 18 years old, but users 13 and up can still use the app with parental permission and supervision. Additionally, no registration or age verification is needed to use the application—which has, in part, spawned concerns about the application’s safety.

Safety Concerns: Anonymous Matching and No Age Verification

While Omegle’s “talk to strangers” tagline has raised red flags for some, the website’s randomized matching and lack of verification systems have given rise to public scrutiny.

Firstly, Omegle does not allow users to report, flag, or block chats that are inappropriate or harmful interactions. “Users are solely responsible for their behavior,” the site’s homepage states. Additional sources say that at one point, Omegle’s response to harmful interactions was to “disconnect if anyone makes you feel uncomfortable.” To combat these interactions, the company claims it moderates rooms, however, the site also states that “no moderation is perfect.” Users also have the choice of entering “unmoderated rooms.”Omegle Adam Horowitz Law

The anonymity and the lack of meaningful safeguards create an environment where users can engage in “prurient interests” with little to no consequence. According to sources, users go to Omegle “when they’re horny and looking for fun.”

When questioned about the sexual content on Omegle, which includes advertisements for porn, the Omegle CEO stated, “Omegle isn’t intended for prurient interests, and when adults visit Omegle with that intent, it makes more sense to direct them somewhere more suitable.” However, in a report by the BBC, researchers said that within the span of one two-hour session, Omegle connected them with “12 masturbating men, eight naked males and seven porn adverts.” Researchers also said they were paired with two young boys masturbating on live chats.

Critical Implications

These reports illuminate how easy it is for children to be exposed to adult content, given Omegle failure to register its users or verify their ages. This presents a problem, especially since it’s widely known that child predators use Omegle to meet and groom children.

According to the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), researchers have found internet material created by child predators who have “captured and distributed footage from Omegle.” Despite these findings and reports of child abuse, Omegle has only cautioned its users rather than identify and prevent abusive users, sources say. Up until May 2021, Omegle’s homepage warned users that “predators have been known to use Omegle, so please be careful.”

Cyber security experts have cautioned users and parents alike about the risks of using Omegle. Since the pandemic, a cybercrimes task force in Missouri says cybercrime tips have increased exponentially. A representative from the task force says the lack of verification measures grants predators access to children looking for social interaction. “These predators are so good about finding weaknesses and how to get through to them,” the task force said.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of a sex crime initiated through Omegle or other apps or social media, contact us at (888) 283-9922 or e-mail sexual abuse lawyer, Adam Horowitz today.



Telvin Smith sexual abuse lawsuit

On Wednesday, April 29, 2020, a heavily armored SWAT team and detectives were seen at Former NFL Jaguar linebacker Telvin Smith’s, Jacksonville home. Smith, 29, was arrested after allegedly having sex with an underage girl. He was taken into custody and booked into the Duval County Jail. According to Smith’s warrant, he is accused of having sex with a 17-year-old girl multiple times, at his Jacksonville home and in his Cadillac Escalade last August and September. 

According to his arrest warrant, Smith met the girl at her job last summer and took pictures with her. Testimony from the girl and a co-worker revealed that Smith knew her age at the time because she told him she had recently celebrated her 17th birthday. After her first sexual encounter with Smith, she told a friend and family member what happened. 

After one meeting, Smith reportedly offered the teen $200 and told her not to tell anyone about their relationship or he could go to jail. He instructed her to say he was her “mentor” if anyone asked. According to police, the girl’s DNA was recovered from Smith’s SUV, which was collected as evidence in December 2019.

According to Florida Statute 794.05, the charge of unlawful sexual activity with certain minors is a second-degree felony. It applies to any person age 24 or older who engages in sexual activity with a person 16 or 17 years old. 

Smith has been released from jail after posting a $50,000 bond. There is no court date listed. 

Child sexual abuse is a crime as a child cannot consent to any form of sexual activity. Child sex offenders present a very real level of risk to the public, and must be held accountable. When a perpetrator targets a child, they are committing a crime that can have life long lasting effects on the victim. 

If you are or someone you know has knowledge concerning any sex crime by Telvin Smith, contact law enforcement.  Horowitz Law is a law firm representing \ survivors of sexual abuse. If you or a loved one was sexually abused, raped or sexually molested, contact our law firm at (888) 283-9922 or send an e-mail to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com for a free consultation.

oys & Girls Club Horowitz Law

Does the Boys & Girls Club Have a Sexual Abuse Problem?

Investigative journalists have uncovered more than 250 child sexual abuse cases lodged against the Boys & Girls Club of America.  These acts are alleged to have been committed by employees, volunteers and others at Boys and Girls Clubs of America affiliates nationwide.  The date was complied from reviewing criminal convictions, civil lawsuits and other public records dating back to the 1970’s.  Some of the cases involve multiple victims of the same alleged perpetrator.

In many instances, it is reported that Boys & Girls club leadership knew about abuse and did not report it to law enforcement, despite national protocols and legal requirements.  In some cases, adults were working with children despite a history of criminal convictions.  In other cases, teenager perpetrators were allowed to return to the clubs after allegations of sexual abuse were lodged against them.

According to the Boys & Girls Club’s  mission statement, “ensuring the safety of youth is fundamental to the mission of Boys & Girls Clubs.”  The Boys & Girls Club of America specifically serves at-risk children.  By definition, these children are already vulnerable.  Children involved in program at Boys & Girls Club should be supervised and no person who poses a threat sexual abuse or physical violence should be on the premises or in the vicinity of children at a Boys & Girls Club.  When sexual abuse occurs at the Boys & Girls Club and is undetected by the adult leaders, it demonstrates that children were not being watched as closely as necessary.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims of sexual abuse at the Boys & Girls Club and many other youth serving organizations.  If you or someone you know was sexually abused at a Boys & Girls Club, please contact our office at 1-888-283-9922 or send an e-mail to lawyer Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com




BREAKING NEWS: Jerry Sandusky’s Son Arrested on Child Sexual Assault Charges

The disturbing story of former Penn State assistant football coach and convicted pedophile Jerry Sandusky took another dark turn on Monday, February 13, 2017. Sandusky’s 41-year-old adopted son Jeffrey has been arrested and charged with child sexual assault.

Jeffrey Sandusky was charged and arraigned in Bellefonte, Pa., according to WTAJ in Central Pennsylvania. Sandusky reportedly has been under investigation by Pennsylvania State Police since November 2016 following a child’s claims that he received text messages asking for nude photographs from the child. The child informed his father about the allegedly lewd texts, and the father notified authorities.

The criminal complaint cited in initial reports notes a second claim of child abuse dating back to 2013.

Bail has been set at $200,000 for Sandusky, who is prohibited from any contact with minors.

Jerry Sandusky is currently serving a 30-to-60-year prison sentence for serial child molestation over a 15-year span.

Attorney Adam Horowitz is experienced in filing lawsuits on behalf of victims of sexual assault. If you or someone you know has been a victim of a sexual assault, please email attorney Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com or call our law firm at (954) 641-2100.

USA Gymnastics Scandal: Failure to Report Sex Abuse Allegations


According to investigative reporting by the Indianapolis Star, USA Gymnastics failed to report allegations of sexual abuse by coaches to proper authorities.

USA Gymnastics trains the U.S. Olympic gymnastics team. Nationally, it includes more than 121,000 athletes and 3,000 gyms with its executive office in Indianapolis.  USA Gymnastics has had the practice of not notifying authorities of sexual abuse allegations unless the complaints were signed by a victim or a parent of the victim. Most third-party reports are considered hearsay. The state of Indiana requires everyone to report sexual abuse; however, USA Gymnastics has argued that organizations are not bound to that law.

Records show that the organization executives have compiled complaint dossiers on more than 50 coaches and filed them in a drawer in its executive office. They are not accessible to the public.  Despite sealed records of abuse allegations, the Indianapolis Star was able to discover and investigate multiple cases of sexual abuse that continued despite USA Gymnastics being alerted.

In 2011 USA Gymnastics received complaints about Marvin Sharp detailing incidents of inappropriate touching and warning that he should not be around children. Sharp was named 2010 national Women’s Coach of the Year. Four years after original complaints, USA Gymnastics finally reported Sharp for accusations that he touched a gymnast’s vagina, trimmed her pubic hair, and took sexually explicit pictures of her beginning when she was 12 years old. He was convicted last year and killed himself while in jail.

Coach Mark Schiefelbein was convicted in 2003 of molesting a Tennessee girl when she was 10 years old. USA Gymnastics had numerous complaints about him alleging sexual assault, but failed to notify the appropriate authorities. The girl’s family contacted the police in 2002. According to police records, Schiefelbein penetrated her vagina with his finger and videotaped her exposed vagina. He is currently serving a 36-year sentence in prison.

Coach James Bell was arrested in 2003 for molesting three young gymnasts in Rhode Island. USA Gymnastics allegedly has complaints about Bell dating five years prior to his arrest. Bell went on the run in 2004 and was rearrested in 2015. He is currently serving an 8-year sentence in prison for child molestation.

USA Gymnatics complaints about Coach William McGabe allegedly date back as a far as 1998. One complaint warned that McGabe “should be locked in a cage before someone is raped.” McGabe pleaded guilty in 2006 to charges including molesting gymnasts, videotaping girls changing clothes and posting their pictures on the internet. He is serving a 30-year sentence in prison.

It is despicable that an organization like USA gymnastics did not take available measures to protect the safety of children.  When a youth organization is entrusted with enriching the lives of children through athletics, they must also take on the responsibility of protecting children from harm.

Attorney Adam Horowitz is experienced in filing lawsuits arising from sexual abuse in youth-serving organizations.  If you or someone you know has been a victim of a sexual abuse, please email attorney Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com or call our law firm at (954) 641-2100.

After-school counselor takes plea bargain in child sex case–gets 20 years probation


Broward County Circuit Judge Ilona Holmes sentenced Michael Nathan Jones to 20 years of probation and mandatory psycho-sexual evaluation after he pled no contest to charges of aggravated child abuse.

“Mr. Mike,” as the children referred to him, was employed as an after-care counselor at the school by After School Program, Inc. at Forest Hills Elementary School in Coral Springs. On June 28, 2016, three pre-teen girls testified in court that Jones touched them in a sexual manner between the legs in 2011. Sexual abuse attorney Adam Horowitz filed and settled a civil lawsuit on behalf of the first child to testify in court, who was 8 years old when she was allegedly molested (Broward County Circuit Court, Case No. 15-018809).  As reported in the Sun-Sentinel, the family received a  settlement of $450,000 in the civil lawsuit.

Jones was not found guilty of molestation charges in the first trial; however, pursuant to his plea deal in the second case, Jones will be on probation for 20 years and not be allowed to work or volunteer with children in the future.

Attorney Adam Horowitz is experienced in filing lawsuits arising from sexual abuse in schools, day cares, and youth serving organizations.  If you or someone you know has been a victim of a sexual abuse in a school, day care, after school program, or a youth-serving organization or any other location, please email attorney Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com or call our law firm at (954) 641-2100.


Youth Pastor Arrested for Allegedly Impregnating 10 year-old Girl

070116+raymond+vincentFort Lauderdale youth pastor Raymond Vincent, age 46, was arrested after he allegedly impregnated a 10 year-old girl and fled to Haiti.  Vincent has a history of sex-related charges as he was accused of molesting another child in 2011.

Doctors discovered that the young girl was pregnant after she went to the hospital complaining of stomach pain. Police believe that Vincent may have lured the young girl into his home with food. According to local news reports, the girl told the police that while she was sleeping on a couch she awakened to a hand down her pants.  She saw Vincent, who quickly removed his hand from under the blanket, over her. Vincent then pretended to check on another sleeping child to disguise his actions. The young girl then locked herself in the bathroom and alerted her mother. It is not clear whether Vincent allegedly raped the girl before or after the couch incident.

In 2012, Vincent was acquitted of four counts of child molestation while a youth pastor at a Pompano Beach church. He was alleged to have molested a young girl after luring her into his home with food in 2011.

Vincent is being held in Broward County jail without bond facing charges of sex battery and lewd and lascivious conduct.

Adam Horowitz is experienced in filing lawsuits on behalf of victims of sexual abuse, including cases related to clergy sexual abuse and other and youth serving organizations. If you or someone you know has been a victim of a sexual abuse, please email attorney Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com or call our law firm at (954) 641-2100.