Tag: Daycare Sexual Abuse

Sexual Abuse of Children in Daycare Centers

pre-school abuse sexual daycare abuse

Parents often rely on child daycare instructors for the safety, development, and growth of their child. The daycare employees provide a critical role and takes on the role of substitute parents during the school week. It is not unusual for daycare instructors to spend more time with a child than a child’s actual parents.

It is every parent’s worst nightmare, but sexual assaults of children do occur in daycares and pre-schools at alarming rates. Our sexual abuse attorneys are experienced in handling child sexual abuse cases in the day care setting. Cases of sexual abuse in day care typically involve multiple victims and multiple perpetrators, and use of extreme threats to prevent disclosure. There are documented cases involving sexual abuse by daycare owners, visitors, employees and even child-on-child sexual assault in daycares.  Due to the large amounts of time children spend in daycare and the enormous trust placed by parents in the daycare makes, this setting presents itself an ideal location for opportunistic perpetrators. Tragically, perpetrators in the daycare may seize upon the trust they are given and the tender age of the children to commit sexual abuse and threaten children into silence.

Toddlers and infants are in the most vulnerable stage of life. Parents have an expectation that a daycare will be operated in a safe manner with only licensed instructors and supervisors having access to children. State law regulates the supervisor-child ratios and the amount of training required of all personnel who interact with your children. Daycares should have a written policies and procedure manual which govern every aspect of the daycare operations, from the bathroom use policy, naptime to taking attendance. Tragically, daycares often make the same mistakes as other businesses, including failing to implement or follow proper safety rules. For instance, we have seen cases where daycares do not adhere to proper supervisor-child ratios or they hire staff without ensuring they have been properly certified or maintained continuing education requirements. Even worse, the daycare may hire an employee without conducting the requisite background check or reviewing employment references.  In other situations, daycares allowed untrained visitors or untrained personnel to volunteer and interact with the children. Any one of these violations of safety protocols can lead to dangerous results for your children.

If someone you know has been a victim of childhood sexual abuse at a day care or pre-school,  contact our law firm at (954) 614-2100 or send an email to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com

What Should You Do If Your Child Was Sexually Abused at Daycare?

Daycare sexual lawsuit

Attorney Adam Horowitz has many years of experience representing children who have been sexually abused or otherwise neglected at daycares and pre-school. Horowitz Law has obtained justice in lawsuits against large national companies and local daycares and pre-schools. In some cases, we have represented multiple victims of the same perpetrator. It is often the case that after one child comes forward with an account of abuse that additional victims of the same perpetrator gain the courage and strength to come forward as well. There is strength in numbers and having the courage to expose a perpetrator may provide support to other child victims in telling their story.

Child sex abuse cases involving abuse in a daycare are heartbreaking, emotional cases which require a legal team who has experience handling these cases. There is a complex web of regulations from the Department of Children & Families which apply to every aspect of daycare including adult supervision, licensing requirements, staff: child ratios, nap times, and a variety of safety rules. In addition to contacting a civil attorney to find out your family’s rights, there are others to whom you should report a sexual assault of a child at daycare or pre-school:

  1. Notify the police department or other law enforcement agency in the city where the sexual assault occurred.It is important that you report the assault in full detail to civil authorities so that the perpetrator can be exposed and held criminally responsible where appropriate.
  2. Notify the Department of Children & Families in the state where the daycare or pre-school is located.You should submit a report in writing which details all inappropriate contact. Remember — it is not you or child’s fault that the perpetrator touched your child in a sexual manner and it is not your child’s fault if the child did not immediately stop the perpetrator or report the misconduct. Sexual abuse is a frightening and confusing experience for a child, particularly when it is committed by an adult authority figure trusted by the child’s parents. The Department of Children & Families is authorized to impose a variety of sanctions against Daycare facilities, ranging from removing a license to monetary fines to public reprimand. Sanctions against a Daycare facility may become a public record and you can protect other children from being exposed to a potential sexual trauma by reporting an assault to the Department of Children & Families.  There are several large national Daycare Centers in the United States including Top of the World Preschool, Challenger School, KinderCare Learning Centers, La Petite Academy, and Bright Horizons Child Care Centers.  Because of the sheer volume of children under their supervision, it is especially critical that these large businesses make child safety the highest priority and adopt policies and procedures to ensure that everything that can possibly be done is done to eliminate the risk of sexual misconduct at one of their facilities.
  3. Contact a therapist. After a traumatic event, it is typical for children to have feelings of anxiety, guilt, stress, intrusive thoughts, nightmares, depression, restlessness or fear, making it difficult to adjust or cope for some time afterwards. You may also witness a child sexually acting out or having sexual boundary issues with other children or adults. Survivors of sexual trauma may also experience severe feelings of anxiety, stress, or fear, known as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). As important as it is to notify an attorney and civil authorities about a sexual trauma, there is no substitute for also receiving therapy from a trained professional.

If your child or someone you know has been a victim of sexual assault in a daycare or pre-school, please contact our law firm at (954) 641-2100 or send an e-mail to attorney Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com

 

Baltimore County church volunteer charged with sexual abuse of child in daycare of Church of the Nativity

imgres-1A volunteer at a Timonium, Maryland church has been charged with sexually abusing a girl there, and Baltimore County police say he has held a string of other positions working with children.  Terrence Shondry Smalls, 26, of Cockeysville is accused of abusing a 4-year-old girl during a Sunday morning Mass on Nov. 27 when he was volunteering at the Roman Catholic Church of the Nativity day care, police said Friday.  Church of the Nativity is under the supervision of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

According to police, Terrence Smalls advertised baby-sitting services for children under age 6 on the website Sitter.com.  He was recently working as a classroom assistant for special-education students at Pot Spring Elementary, and previously worked at that school’s before- and after-school programs, authorities said.  Between July and October of this year, Smalls worked at the Little Gym in Hunt Valley, police said. In addition, between 2011 and 2015, he volunteered with Girl Scouts that met at Pot Spring and Epworth United Methodist Church.  Smalls has no children of his own, according to law enforcement.

Cases like this are every parent’s worst nightmare.  Children should be safe in day cares and at churches. We commend this child for having the courage to come forward to law enforcement and if there are any other children who may have been harmed, we encourage them to come forward.

If your child or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse at a daycare or pre-school or in a church, contact our law firm at (954) 641-2100 or send an email to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com. 

 

Teen Boy Charged with Molesting Pre-School Girls at Bola Learning Center in Miami

Emmanuel Ogunmodede is facing two criminal charges for allegedly molesting two pre-school girls at Bola Learning Center, a pre-school in the Little Haiti section of Miami.  According to law enforcement records, the teenage boy was first accused of molesting a 5-year-old girl at a Little Haiti preschool in 2014.  Then in July 2016, another 5-year-old girl at the same school, Bola Learning Center, came forward and told detectives he forced her to perform a sex act on him when she was 3, according to police.  Bola is a privately-owned and accredited pre-school and VPK provider.  It is unknown why the teenage boy was at the pre-school.

According to the arrest report, the first girl to come forward said in a forensic interview that she went to the bathroom by herself and the lights were turned off. That’s when he came in. He told her that he would pinch her if she didn’t comply.  She said she told him to stop and went back to class, according to the report. Then on July 28, a 5-year-old girl told detectives during a forensic interview that he molested her when she was 3, according to his arrest report. She said went to the bathroom by herself and he followed her, a detective wrote in the report.  “Detectives believe there are other victims,” said Det. Kenia Fallat, a Miami police spokesman. “They have exhausted every avenue and need to make the public aware.”

 This is every parent’s worst nightmare. Pre-schools should be a place where parents can trust that their children will be cared for and protected from harm.

Our attorneys are experienced in representing victims of child sexual abuse at pre-schools and daycare in civil lawsuits.  If you or someone you know has been a victim of child sexual abuse at a pre-school or daycare, please contact our law firm at (954) 641-2100 or send an email to sexual abuse attorney Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com.

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

ASP

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.

 

Teenage Boy Allegedly Molests 3 Year-Old Girl at In-Home Daycare in Pasco County

Lucius-Gibson-300x300A 16 year-old boy from Pasco County, Florida is accused of molesting a 3 year-old girl at his mother’s daycare operated in their home. Lucius Isaiah Gibson, who goes by Isaiah, allegedly inserted his penis into the mouth of the child during nap time at his mother’s daycare, Thomas Gibson Family Day Care.

According to police, the incident took place during nap time, a time when the children were unsupervised. The 3 year-old victim told her parents about what happened.  Investigators believe that four other children, both boys and girls, may have been molested by Gibson. In addition to charging Gibson sexual battery, the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office is considering filing child neglect charges against Gibson’s mother and her employees.

In 2013, the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office investigated similar allegations of “inappropriate touching” of a young child by Gibson.  Detectives at the time did not feel they had enough evidence to arrest Gibson, nor did the parents of the child decide to press charges.

According to police, Gibson admitted unintentionally exposing himself in front of the children but denied all other allegations.  The daycare’s operation have been suspended for 90 days pending further investigation.

Attorney Adam Horowitz is experienced in filing lawsuits arising from sexual abuse in schools, daycares, and other 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.