Tag: Summer Camp Sexual Abuse

The outside of Katz Jewish Community Center | Adam Horowitz Law

Katz Jewish Community Center Counselor in New Jersey Investigated for Sex Abuse of Minors

An assistant counselor at the Katz Jewish Community Center in Cherry Hill is accused of sexual abuse of young campers at the early childhood camp. The identity of the male counselor is not being publicly disclosed because he is under age eighteen.  Katz JCC is located at 1301 Springdale Road in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.

Cases involving the abuse of young children is particularly heart-wrenching as they are the most vulnerable members of our society.  Sexual abuse can be a confusing experience for young children — especially when it is committed by someone they like or view to be in a position of trust.  The alleged victims who reported this incident and gave statements to law enforcement are courageous.

This alleged incidents are a reminder that  no matter how picturesque a camp looks in its brochures, the risk of childhood sexual abuse in summer camp exists and it occurs more often than most people realize.  Just yesterday, the associate director of Camp Live Oak in Florida was arrested on charges that he molested a 10-year old girl who attended the camp where he worked.  No matter what we do to protect our children, there is always a risk that they may be harmed when they are away from us. In most states, there are laws in place to keep sexual predators out of daycare centers and schools. Rarely do the same prohibitions apply in the summer camp setting.

Attorney Adam Horowitz is experienced in representing victims of child sexual abuse at summer camps in civil lawsuits. If you or someone you know was a victim of child sexual abuse at any summer camp, please contact our law firm at (954) 641-2100 or send an email to sexual abuse attorney Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com

mughshot Christopher Falzone - Adam Horowitz Law

Camp Live Oak Associate Director, Christopher Falzone, Arrested on Child Molestation Charges

Christopher Falzone, the associate director of Camp Live Oak, is accused of molesting a 10-year old girl who attended the camp where he worked.  Falzone is 35-years old.  He is accused of molesting the camper on 15 occasions when the campers would go to the beach or while they were on the bus together.  As is often the case with child sexual abuse, this does not appear to be an isolated incident by the alleged perpetrator.  In 2013, Falzone was working as a substitute teacher at Sheridan Elementary School and four students reported that he inappropriately touched them. One of the families has filed a civil lawsuit against Falzone.  At least one other child from Renaissance Charter School in Cooper City has accused Falzone of sexual misconduct.  According to public records, Falzone was later charged with additional crimes involving alleged sexual contact with a minor in Cooper City.

The alleged victim at Camp Live Oak told police she was alone with Falzone because she had broken her arm earlier in the summer and was unable to participate in swimming so Falzone sat with her while the other campers swam at the beach. Camp Live Oak has two locations — Fort Lauderdale and Dania Beach.

During Falzone’s interview with police, they said he admitted to communicating with the victim on Facebook and whispering, “I love you” in her ear. However, he claimed he did not remember touching her. Falzone had worked at Camp Live Oak for eight years.  His picture and biography were quickly removed from the camp’s website but his pictures remain on the camp’s Instagram account.   Falzone is also a third-grade teacher at Renaissance Charter School in Cooper City.  According to Falzone’s LinkedIn bio, he previously worked as the Music Director at Two Rivers Church in Cooper City between 2012 and Volunteer Coordinator at the Young At Art Museum in Davie for six months from 2013 to 2014; and was a substitute teacher at Sheridan Hills Elementary from November 2008 through June 2013.

The alleged molestation was revealed when the child’s mother found that her daughter was talking on her cell phone with an adult male.  This resulted in further inquiry and discovery of inappropriate messages exchanged between Falzone and the minor.

Falzone’s arrest is a reminder that  no matter how picturesque the camp looks in its brochures, the risk of childhood sexual abuse in summer camp exists and it occurs more often than most people realize. No matter what we do to protect our children, there is always a risk that they may be harmed when they are away from us. In most states, there are laws in place to keep sexual predators out of daycare centers and schools. Rarely do the same prohibitions apply in the summer camp setting.

It is also a reminder for adults to be vigilant in monitoring the cell phone and social media use of children.  Parents should have access to and be aware of all messages exchanged by their children.

Attorney Adam Horowitz is experienced in representing victims of child sexual abuse at summer camps in civil lawsuits. If you or someone you know was a victim of child sexual abuse at any summer camp, please contact our law firm at (954) 641-2100 or send an email to sexual abuse attorney Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com

Dylan Stolz sexual lawsuit Brant Lake

Brant Lake Camp Counselor Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Charges

Brant Lake Camp counselor Dylan Stolz has been arrested on criminal charges for alleged sexual abuse of nine campers at the all-boys camp in the Adirondacks.  Stolz allegedly fondled the boys in their bunkhouses and camp showers.  Stolz is facing 26 criminal charges, including 14 felonies.  The camp is marketed an an exclusive, boys-only camp in Horicon, New York  that has operated for nearly 100 years. Stolz worked at the camp for more than three decades.  Stolz, age 51, also worked as a 4th-grade teacher in the Hewlett-Woodmere school district in Nassau County, according to law enforcement.

Summer is the time of year when many parents send their kids off on that grand adventure: sleepaway camp. Summer camp can be an exciting time for kids, when they make new friends and get a taste of independence from their families.  Parents, too, often appreciate the weeks of sleep-away camp, for a variety of reasons.  It is an enormous leap of faith for parents to hand their child over to a camp for sometimes weeks at a time. They have to trust that the child is in a supervised, safe environment with responsible adult leaders. But as we see every summer, no place is completely safe, not even the idyllic summer camp.

The fact is that no matter how picturesque the camp looks in its brochures, the risk of childhood sexual abuse in summer camp exists and it occurs more often than most people realize. No matter what we do to protect our children, there is always a risk that they may be harmed when they are away from us.  Sleepaway camps in particular pose some unique opportunities for sexual predators. Children are away from their parents, may be homesick and may not have made any friends, making them vulnerable to attention that they receive from older campers or staff.

There is no fool-proof way to protect your child from all harms while at summer camp. There are, however, some prudent considerations and questions to ask when selecting a camp:

  1. What risk-management procedures does the camp have in place?
  2. How are staff, counselors, and volunteers screened and selected? Are criminal background checks being performed prior to supervision?
  3. How are volunteers trained before they supervise camp-sponsored trips?
  4. What kind of discipline code is followed? Is it enforced? By whom?
  5. Are yelling, bullying, harassment, or physical force tolerated? How are incidents of violence and abuse handled?
  6. Do campers know who they can talk with and what to do if they feel unsafe?
  7. Are appropriate procedures in place to prevent teachers, counselors, and volunteers from being alone, one-on-one, with children?
  8. Are at least two counselors or adults present in each cabin at a sleep-away camp?
  9. On field trips, is there adequate supervision for the size of the group? Are there, for example, at least two staff members or volunteers for class trips of eight or ten students?
  10. Are age groups reasonably established and kept separate for activities and sleeping?

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

ARE YOUR KIDS SAFE FROM SEXUAL ABUSE AT SUMMER CAMP?

School is out and summer is here!

It’s the time of year when many parents send their kids off on that grand adventure: sleepaway camp. Summer camp can be an exciting time for kids, when they make new friends and get a taste of independence from their families.  Parents, too, often appreciate the weeks of sleep-away camp, for a variety of reasons.
summer camp sexual abuse

It is an enormous leap of faith for parents to hand their child over to a camp for sometimes weeks at a time. They have to trust that the child is in a supervised, safe environment with responsible adult leaders. But as we see every summer, no place is completely safe, not even the idyllic summer camp.

The fact is that no matter how picturesque the camp looks in its brochures, the risk of childhood sexual abuse in summer camp exists and it occurs more often than most people realize. No matter what we do to protect our children, there is always a risk that they may be harmed when they are away from us.  Sleepaway camps in particular pose some unique opportunities for sexual predators. Children are away from their parents, may be homesick and may not have made any friends, making them vulnerable to attention that they receive from older campers or staff.

In most states, there are laws in place to keep sexual predators out of day care centers and schools. Rarely do the same prohibitions apply in the summer camp setting.  Consider the following recent news stories:

1. A New York teenager is suing a sports camp alleging that a popular counselor sneaked into his bed while he was sleeping and sexually assaulted him in a cabin in 2006. According to the lawsuit, the counsel engaged in other inappropriate contact with campers, including “tweaking nipples, ‘bear hugging,’ tickling and rubbing up against boys.”

2. The family of 12-year old boy alleged that he and another camper were molested at a Pennsylvania sleep-away camp for Orthodox Jewish boys. Their lawsuit further alleges that the camp owner tried covering up the abuse and gave the counselor a bus ticket home to Canada.

3. In Texas, a counselor was convicted of sexually abusing two boys at Camp Stewart, one of the oldest camps in Texas. At least six civil lawsuits were filed.  The counselor, who was hired through an international agency, had publicly advocated on the internet having sex with anyone regardless of age or gender.

There is no fool-proof way to protect your child from all harms while at summer camp. There are, however, some prudent considerations and questions to ask when selecting a camp:

  1. What risk-management procedures does the camp have in place?
  2. How are staff, counselors, and volunteers screened and selected? Are criminal background checks being performed prior to supervision?
  3. How are volunteers trained before they supervise camp-sponsored trips?
  4. What kind of discipline code is followed? Is it enforced? By whom?
  5. Are yelling, bullying, harassment, or physical force tolerated? How are incidents of violence and abuse handled?
  6. Do campers know who they can talk with and what to do if they feel unsafe?
  7. Are appropriate procedures in place to prevent teachers, counselors, and volunteers from being alone, one-on-one, with children?
  8. Are at least two counselors or adults present in each cabin at a sleep-away camp?
  9. On field trips, is there adequate supervision for the size of the group? Are there, for example, at least two staff members or volunteers for class trips of eight or ten students?
  10. Are age groups reasonably established and kept separate for activities and sleeping?

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