Tag: Miami sexual abuse lawyer



Miami Gardens Xpress Track Club founder and head coach Darius Lawshea, 45, turned himself into Miami Gardens police on Sunday, October 25, 2020 after two sisters said he molested them. He reportedly raped the older sister when she was 14, and several years later, the younger sister at 15.

According to one of the arrest reports, the investigation began in November 2019, but this was not the first time parents expressed concern about Lawshea to authorities. Back in June 2012, the mother of a 14-year old girl told police “she felt the communication between her daughter and [Lawshea] was flirtatious and feared for her daughter’s safety.” The investigation was closed citing insufficient evidence. 

In November 2019, a teen and her mother reported concerns about Lawshea, also known as “Coach D,” to Miami Gardens police. They had considered him a family friend. The girl said when he stopped by her house in the summer of 2018, when she was 14, he tried to get into her bathroom as she was coming out of the shower. She locked herself in her bedroom. Another incident occurred on July 4, 2019 when he got her alone in her room and asked if she had ever had a threesome and then offered her $200 for sex. Despite her refusal, she said Lawshea bear hugged her from behind and grinded against her. She said he came by later that month while she was home alone and tried to kiss her on the mouth and breast.

The daughter didn’t tell her mother, but she did tell her then-boyfriend on FaceTime while Lawshea was in the house. Her boyfriend told her mother and then to Miami Gardens police in August 2020.

According to the report, Lawshea “stated that he is known to be too friendly with his kids (young ladies he has trained in his track program).” He admitted dropping in on the girl “to check on her.” The mother told investigators she remembered her older daughter said Lawshea tried to pick her up and carry her into his bedroom once in 2010. 

In September 2020, Miami Gardens police asked the older daughter about the attempted lift-and-carry incident years earlier. She said she was running track for a team Lawshea coached. The meet was in Orlando, so she stayed at his house. She said he forced oral and vaginal sex on her, and described both his apartment and his penis. She also said on the way home from track practice, he pulled his car over and raped her in the car on two separate occasions.

The report stated she didn’t come forward in 2010 because “she was fearful because Mr. Lawshea was loved by everyone in the community and she didn’t want to get into trouble.”But “when she heard that Mr. Lawshea had sexually molested her little sister, she knew it was important to finally speak up.”

According to the arrest report, at least one more alleged victim has come forward. Lawshea now faces two counts of child molestation and three counts of sexual battery on a minor. Bond was denied on all of the counts against him and he is still in jail.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse. If you or a loved one was sexually abused, raped or sexually molested by a coach, principal, teacher or other other school employee, 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.

Legionaires of Christ’s List of Clergy with Substantiated Sex Abuse Claim Includes Former Miami Clergyman

The Legionaires of Christ has published a list of its clergyman who have had substantiated sexual abuse allegations lodged against them.  The list include Father Benjamin Cielply, who was formerly serving in the Archdiocese of Miami.   Investigators concluded that “there is a high probability that he sexually abused a minor in 2016 during his probationary period in the Archdiocese of Miami.” Cieply was removed from ministry on account this sexual abuse claim.

Father Benjamin Cieply, LC, was ordained to priesthood with the religious congregation Legionaries of Christ on December 20, 2008.  In 2015, he left the Dallas, Texas, Legionaries of Christ community to seek out incardination to the Archdiocese of Miami after a gradual process of discernment.  In late 2016, an incident of sexual abuse in Florida involving a minor was reported and Child Protective Services was notified. Child Protective Services determined that the allegations could not be substantiated.  The Archdiocese of Miami was informed. They began their internal review and a decision was made, based on the findings, to remove Fr. Benjamin Cieply from ministry. Cieply was sent back to the Legionaries of Christ and has not been exercising ministry.

Fr. Benjamin Cieply was asked by the Legionairies to participate in the investigation of this claim in January of 2017 and then again in February of 2018. Fr. Benjamin Cieply affirmed his innocence and declined to participate in the investigation on both occasions.   The Review Board convened on June 27, 2018. After careful consideration based on the information provided in the report, the Review Board concluded that there is a high probability that sexual abuse had occurred and recommended that Fr. Benjamin Cieply should not return to ministry. The Territorial Director of the Legionaries of Christ decided to act in accordance with their recommendation. Fr. Benjamin Cieply will not be returning to ministry.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergt.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy now have legal options to recover damages.  Call us at (888) 283-9922 or send an email to adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.