Message from the Illinois Catholic Priest Abuse and Attorney General Kwame Raoul
The attorney general of Illinois revealed on Tuesday that more than 450 Catholic clergies in the state had sexually abused nearly 2,000 children since 1950, which is significantly more than the church had previously admitted.
Attorney General Kwame Raoul explained that 451 Catholic clergies had abused 1,997 children in Illinois between 1950 and 2019, describing Illinois church leaders as being slow to acknowledge the extent of the abuse and accusing them of failing to warn parishioners about possible abusers in their midst, even decades after allegations emerged.
The lengthy report includes individual accounts of sexual abuse and lists of clergy and religious brothers in each diocese accused of child sexual abuse.
Our law firm represents victims of sexual abuse by teachers in both public and private schools.
We file lawsuits against both the offending teacher and the school, seeking maximum compensation for the student who was abused and often resulting in large settlement awards.
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It’s Every Parent’s Wish That Their Children Are Safe While At School.
Unfortunately, sexual misconduct by teachers, counselors, coaches, and other educational professionals can occur, and we handle claims arising from such misconduct.
Even though school workers are supposed to have intensive training and screening to prevent these incidents, inappropriate sexual contact or outright abuse is common when people in positions of power take advantage of vulnerable children and teenagers.
When this happens, both parents and students have rights under the law, including the right to have an experienced attorney by their side and to demand payments from both sexual abusers and their employers.
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The Legal Duty To Prevent Teacher Sex Abuse Owed By Schools
Any sexual contact between a child and a school employee is inappropriate, regardless of consent. This can include direct contact between a student and teacher, or a situation where a teacher or other staff member turns a blind eye to sexual abuse by another person on school property.
Because Illinois schools always have a duty to keep their students safe, any instance of sexual abuse that occurs on church campus grounds may implicate the school as being negligent in an Illinois Catholic clergy abuse lawsuit.
Additionally, the school can be held accountable even when a teacher engages in sexual relations with a student off the school property.
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Suing Public Schools Versus Private Institutions
While every educational institution has virtually the same duties to keep students safe, the legal liability of these schools can vary.
One major factor that any sexual abuse claimant must consider when filing a lawsuit in Illinois is whether the school is a private or public institution.
Plaintiffs can name private schools as defendants in all claims alleging sexual abuse, including situations where:
- A teacher is directly involved in the abuse;
- They witness abuse occurring on school grounds but do not intervene; or,
- When a third party commits an offense on school property.
Here, a plaintiff can allege that a school was merely negligent in not providing adequate protection.
Claims against public schools are much more complicated because these schools are considered entities under the State of Illinois.
However, some exceptions to this rule do exist, such as the same statute allowing a plaintiff to hold an employee of the school personally responsible if their actions amounted to gross negligence.
This means that the employee knew that there was a substantial risk of harm to the child and that the defendant willfully ignored that risk.
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Legal Theories Of Liability In School Teacher Sex Abuse Lawsuits
Several theories of liability exist for a student to sue a teacher and school or even a church in an Illinois Catholic priest clergy abuse settlement.
In addition to state law theories, many lawsuits are filed based on violations of federal laws.
These include violations of Title IX because sexual harassment and abuse are forms of discrimination under Title IX.
As such, an educational institution that receives federal funding can be held liable under Title IX for the sexual abuse of a student by a teacher or other school employee.
While no amount of money can undo the pain and trauma caused by sexual abuse, renowned Illinois personal injury attorney Ben Crump can help victims find closure and move forward with their lives by holding those responsible for these heinous acts accountable.
Contact Ben Crump Law right now for a free, private case evaluation and an estimate of just how much compensation you may be entitled to—call 800-683-5111, email [email protected], or visit our lightning-fast contact form.
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