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Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse

This week began the criminal jury trial of Jerry Sandusky the former Penn State assistant football coach. Sandusky faces 52 counts of molesting 10 boys over a 15-year period of time. It is alleged that Sandusky met the boys through a charity he founded called The Second Mile. The victims have also filed civil law suits alleging negligence against both the charity and the educational institution.

This type of negligence on the part of an organization, who has the duty to protect the safety of children, brings to light the concerns that arise with sexual predation of children. Organizations which supervise, place or provide services for children must scrutinize those adults which are permitted to interact with children. Often times it is not just the sexual predator that is legally responsible, but could also be an institution or individual who failed to prevent the abuse.

If you or your child has been a victim of sexual abuse, you should contact a personal injury attorney. A victim may still have a valid claim for the injuries they suffered as a result of the sexual abuse many years after the abuse occurred.

In 2003, the Maryland Legislature enacted §5-117 of the Courts and Judicial Proceedings Article of the Maryland Code which expanded the statute of limitations for victims of sexual abuse. The statute provides that an action for damages arising out of an alleged incident of sexual abuse that occurred while the victim was a minor shall be filed within seven years of the date that the victim attains the age of majority. Therefore, an individual may have a claim for damages until their twenty-fifth birthday.

You may have a valid claim for negligence against a number of entities who negligently hired or supervised you or your child while in the care of a sexual abuse predator. These types of entities may include: a foster care placement agency; a religious organization; an educational organization; and/or a recreational organization.