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How to File a California School Sexual Abuse Lawsuit

Sexual violence in American schools is a widespread issue impacting countless students throughout the nation annually. Whether the crime is classified as assault or abuse, incidents of sexual violence have increased dramatically in recent years, according to data provided by the Education Department.

In fact, during the 2017-2018 school year, U.S. public elementary and secondary schools reported a more than 50% increase in allegations of sexual violence. In total, American schools recorded nearly 15,000 total incidents of sexual violence – representing an overall 55% increase from the 2015-16 school year.

Among the 15,000 reported incidents of sexual violence in American schools, the following statistics were confirmed:

  • The vast majority of incidents – more than 14,100 – were classified as sexual assault.
  • Incidents classified as sexual assault saw the greatest increase – a reported 53%.
  • Schools reported approximately 780 incidents of rape or attempted rape.
  • Reported incidents of rape or attempted rape increased at a rate of nearly double when compared to the number of incidents from the 2015-16 school year.

While the above figures are particularly troubling for both parents and students alike, the scope of the problem may actually be more rampant than the numbers suggest. Shiwali Patel of the National Women’s Law Center recently told the Washington Post that reports of sexual violence in school are probably still being “undercounted.” Moreover, the problem of sexual violence is actually expected to “reemerge” as the country slowly recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic and more students return to school, according to the National Education Association.

A recent FOX News report found that from January 1 to September 30 of this year, at least 269 educators were arrested for sexual misconduct. That figure equates to approximately one arrest involving an educator per day.

According to FOX, the breakdown of the 269 arrests was as follows:

  • Four principals
  • Two assistant principals
  • 226 teachers
  • 20 teacher’s aides
  • 17 substitute teachers

At least 199 of the arrests, or 74%, reportedly involved crimes against students.

California School Sexual Abuse Statistics

The issue of school sexual violence is one of increasing concern here in California. Practically every week there is another headline of a local teacher, coach, or administrator who is alleged to have sexually abused a student.

A report from local Redlands Daily Facts further highlights the issue of sexual abuse in California schools.

The report offered the following statistics:

  • An estimated one in 10 California students will experience school employee sexual misconduct by the time they graduate from high school.
  • 53% of incidents occur at school or a school event.
  • 19% of incidents occur online.
  • 79% of school sexual misconduct involves skin-to-skin contact.
  • 14% of school sexual misconduct does not involve contact.
  • 56% of school sexual violence victims are female.
  • The average age of a school sexual violence victim is 15.
  • 67% of school sexual violence offenders are male.
  • The average age of a school sexual predator is 36.
  • Only 53% of school sexual offenders are ever convicted of a crime.
  • Only 51% of school sexual offenders end up on the state’s registry.

“The extent of the problem in America’s schools is impossible to quantify. No national database tracks instances of sexual abuse of students by employees in K-12 schools. But anecdotal evidence, spilling off the pages of newspapers and online news sites across the country, suggests something close to an epidemic,” the Redlands Daily Facts report said.

Recent California School Sexual Abuse Settlements

Lawsuits filed on behalf of survivors of school sexual violence have led to multi-million dollar settlements.

Examples of such recent cases include:

  • In May, a San Jose school was ordered to pay $7.5 million to five men who were sexually abused by their elementary school teacher in the late 1970s and early ’80s.
  • In October, victims of a former Sun Valley high school wrestling coach were awarded a $52 million settlement following a lawsuit which alleged that the Los Angeles Unified School District knew of prior sexual misconduct and did nothing about it.
  • In March, a jury awarded $102.5 million to two women who sued a Northern California school district over what they said was officials’ failure to stop a middle school teacher from sexually grooming and abusing them as minors.

How to File a California School Sexual Abuse Lawsuit

If you’ve been victimized by a teacher, coach, administrative assistant, or other type of school employee, you may be entitled to a substantial cash settlement through a civil lawsuit with Martinian & Associates. Our skilled and proven school sexual abuse attorneys will fight aggressively to secure you a maximum financial damages award which takes into account all applicable damages, such as:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional trauma or psychological distress
  • Lost wages or reduced future earning capacity
  • Hospital or medical care expenses – past and future
  • Counseling or therapy expenses – past and future
  • Punitive damages

To speak with an attorney regarding your school, teacher, or coach sexual abuse case, contact Martinian & Associates today at 323-850-1900. There is no upfront fee for our expert legal services, and you pay nothing until after we secure a maximized cash settlement or verdict for your claim.

How Long Do I Have to File a California School Sexual Abuse Claim?

Survivors of childhood sexual abuse now have until their 40th birthday to file civil claims seeking financial compensation. However, in some cases survivors may be able to file claims after they turn 40.

For example, if you discovered a psychological injury like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in connection with an instance of childhood sexual abuse, you have a five-year window from the date of discovering said injury to file a civil claim.

Furthermore, a new federal law known as the Eliminating Limits to Justice for Child Sex Abuse Victims Act of 2022 removes the statute of limitations for a minor victim of a federal sex offense to file a civil action to recover damages. Accordingly, all survivors of childhood sexual abuse may now be able to file federal claims for damages.

While recent legislation has allowed survivors of childhood sexual abuse more time to come forward and file claims, it is recommended that civil lawsuits be brought as soon as possible. Doing so helps ensure that survivors of school sexual abuse maintain the best chance of obtaining justice.

Contact the experienced team of school sexual abuse lawyers at Martinian & Associates today for a free and confidential consultation. We’re dedicated to obtaining justice for all survivors of sexual abuse, and our track record of securing more than $100,000,000 in settlements and verdicts on behalf of clients like you is proof of the tireless effort we put into each and every case.