SANTA ROSA CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE ATTORNEY
MICHAEL REHM - (707) 225-0731
Providing representation to victims of School/Teacher/Counselor/Coach sexual assault, Clergy/Pastor/Priest childhood sexual abuse, Boy Scouts sexual abuse, and other institutional abuse matters in Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Windsor and all of Sonoma County.
The safety of children is of the utmost importance. Unfortunately, statistics show that child sex abuse is all too common, with one in four girls and one in six boys falling victim to sexual abuse before the age of 18. Tragically, a significant percentage of these cases involve abuse by someone the child knows and trusts, such as a family member, friend, coach, or member of the clergy. Even more disturbing, many cases of child sexual abuse could have been prevented if the abuser's employer had been more careful in their hiring and retention practices. If you have questions about filing a civil claim or would like to discuss anything else, contact Santa Rosa sex abuse Attorney Michael Rehm for a free and confidential consultation by contacting us at (707) 225-0731.
The California Child Victims Act
The California Child Victims Act was signed into law in 2019. The act extends the statute of limitations for certain child sex abuse crimes, allowing victims to file claims up until the age of 40 instead of 26. It also provided a window for civil claims that were previously barred by the statute of limitations. This window allows survivors of childhood sexual abuse to file a claim against their abuser (and any institutions that may have failed to protect them) no matter how long ago the abuse occurred. The act also states that any institution that covered up the abuse can be sued for triple the damages. The window ends December 31, 2022.
Negligent Hiring and Retention
Negligent hiring occurs when an employer fails to conduct a reasonable background check on an employee before hiring them. This background check should include a review of the employee's criminal history, as well as any previous complaints or investigations of inappropriate behavior. In many cases, if an employee abuses a child, an employer might be found negligent if they knew about the employee's history of sexual abuse but neglected to take any meaningful action.
Negligent retention occurs when an employer becomes aware of an employee's history of sexual misconduct but fails to take appropriate action. For example, if an employee is accused of sexual harassment but is not fired or disciplined, the employer might be held liable for any future incidents of harassment that occur.
This type of situation unfortunately happens more than we could even imagine, particularly in schools, the Catholic church, and other organizations.
Child Sexual Abuse Cases in Santa Rosa, CA
In 2019, after the California Child Victim's Act was implemented, providing child sex abuse victims the opportunity to again seek justice against their abusers and the institutions that protect them, The Santa Rosa Diocese found itself in hot water. Two men filed lawsuits against the Diocese, alleging that they were sexually abused by a former priest. They accuse the Diocese of being negligent by giving the priest “years of continuous secluded access to minor children” even though they knew or had reason to know that the priest had engaged in this type of unlawful conduct in the past.
Additionally, they asked for any damages awarded to be tripled, as they allege that the church covered up evidence of the abuse. This is just one of many cases that has been and will be filed against the Catholic church since the 3-year lookback window was created.
Contact The Law Office of Michael Rehm for Assistance
Organizations that work with children have a duty to take proper precautions when hiring new employees and to continuously monitor employee-child interactions. If this doesn't occur, they are opening themselves up to serious lawsuits. If you or your child has been the victim of sexual abuse, you may be entitled to compensation. Sonoma County School Sexual Abuse Lawyer Michael Rehm understands the compassion and dedication it takes to fight alongside you. For a free and confidential consultation, contact The Law Office of Michael Rehm today at (707) 225-0731.
Sonoma County School/Teacher Sexual Abuse Attorney
Free, Confidential Consultations - Confidential Voicemail - (707) 225-0731