Teacher and Counselor Sexual Assault and Abuse

We’ve all seen the shocking headlines.

  • A 38-year-old teacher who also served as a coach at a Pottstown, Pennsylvania, high school pleaded guilty in February 2018 to having sex with a 16-year-old student who was in her science class during his freshman year. Investigators say the teacher kissed the student multiple times and assaulted him at her home.
  • A teacher from Chester County, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in August 2017 to institutional sexual assault involving a 16-year-old student who attended a school for troubled youths. The teacher’s conduct came to light when staff found letters and a journal detailing the sexual acts.
  • A former substitute school teacher who served jail time after getting caught having sex with a 17-year-old student in her car was sentenced to state prison in May 2017 by a Northampton County, Pennsylvania, judge for a parole violation after she contacted her victim following her release.
  • A grand jury in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, issued a 49-page report in February 2017 finding that teachers and faculty at the elite private Solebury School sexually abused students for five decades, while school leadership failed to contact the authorities even though they had been made aware on many occasions of allegations of sexual abuse.

In 2014, there were 781 reported cases of teachers and other school employees accused or convicted of sexual relationships with students, according to Terry Abbott, a former chief of staff at the U.S. Department of Education. An investigation of 50 states and the District of Columbia by the Associated Press found that 2,570 educators had their teaching credentials revoked, denied, surrendered, or sanctioned from 2001 through 2005 following allegations of sexual misconduct.

While most teachers, counselors, and other career educators are dedicated professionals who would never sexually assault or abuse a student, unfortunately, like all professions, teaching is not immune from adults who harm children. In fact, with record numbers of children owning their own cellphones, computers, and other electronic devices, it is easier than ever for sexual predators in the education sector to text, send emails, and use social media to prey upon innocent students, while slipping under the radar of parents and school administrators.

When a child is victimized by an educator, the criminal justice system will deal with the perpetrator, hopefully by convicting and incarcerating him or her. However, the child is often left with devastating psychological―and sometimes physical―injuries, for which the only redress is a civil lawsuit for financial compensation. That lawsuit can target parties beyond the direct perpetrator―such as schools, school districts, and others―who allowed the conduct to take place, covered it up, or failed to notify law enforcement upon becoming aware.

Proving sexual assault and abuse cases requires not only legal experience, but also rigorous investigation and expertise from professionals who can assess whether a school’s policies, practices, and procedures enabled the perpetrator. Other necessary experts may include forensic pediatricians, and pediatric psychologists and psychiatrists.

We have the financial resources to retain appropriate investigators and experts in all necessary disciplines, so we can establish the underlying facts of these incidents―which often cause shame, humiliation, trauma, and psychological injuries that last a lifetime. And because we have decades of experience bringing sexual predators to justice, we get maximum financial compensation for our clients.

We’re Here to Help You

Schools do not always investigate allegations of sexual assault and abuse. They hunker down. They sometimes let educators quietly leave their jobs when allegations arise. Contact us immediately.

We fight so you’ll receive justice and compensation for your psychological and physical injuries and other losses by holding all culpable parties accountable. Schools and school districts work to protect themselves. They do not necessarily care about conducting an unbiased, thorough investigation, and compensating you for any wrongs they committed. Contact us to find out whether you have grounds for a lawsuit.

We immediately evaluate your case so you know the status.

We’re highly experienced at handling sexual assault and abuse cases involving schools, teachers, counselors, and other educators, and can efficiently review your case, in conjunction with our multidisciplinary team of experts. If your case is right for us, we’ll proceed with a full investigation and evaluation of the facts and legal issues, and determine the likelihood of a fair settlement or need to file a lawsuit. We’ll keep you up-to-date on all developments and advise you on the range of possible outcomes so you can make educated decisions.

Because a monetary award will significantly impact your life, we put our negotiation and trial skills and experience to work.

We’re master negotiators, so you can rely on us to negotiate the best possible settlement for you. If the parties can’t agree on money, we’re prepared to file a lawsuit and aggressively try your case in the courtroom. And we have a proven track record of securing winning verdicts and other favorable resolutions in sexual assault and abuse cases.

Our sensitivity and compassion are as important as our legal representation.

Sexual assault and abuse―particularly when inflicted by trusted educators in a school environment where a child is supposed to feel safe―leaves the victim with a wide range of emotions ranging from guilt, embarrassment, anger, self-blame, fear, loss of control, vulnerability, and more. We understand the trauma and confusion that the victim and family experience, when educators, whom we are taught to place in high regard, violate our trust and cause grievous harm. The victim’s world is turned upside-down.

Be assured that we will handle your case in a sensitive and compassionate manner that respects your emotional needs, personal dignity, and privacy. Our team of lawyers, paralegals, and secretaries will coordinate with one another about your case and keep in constant contact with you and your family. We help clients in these emotionally tough times by being accessible, supportive, and genuine. Our sensitivity and compassion make us better lawyers, too.

If a new legal matter arises during your case, we can help.

The firm’s teacher and counselor sexual assault and abuse practice is just one of many HRMM&L law practices. Because HRMM&L is a full-service law firm with substantial resources, we’re able to advise you on other legal problems that may arise during your case. And if the legal problem is one our firm doesn’t handle, we’ll refer you to another lawyer and firm whom we know and trust.

Other sexual assault and abuse problems you may encounter during your case: