California school fails to report sexual abuse to police

Posted on January 9, 2013 by

On behalf of The Law Office of Marvin S. Lanter on Wednesday, January 9, 2013.

Following all of the news over the last few years about the Catholic Church, Penn State and the Boy Scouts of America, it is astonishing to learn that yet another group is coming under fire for failing to inform local authorities about a victim of sexual abuse. The group currently being investigated is the Twin Rivers Unified School District. California parents might find the following piece about the victims of sexual abuse and mandatory reporting laws interesting.

According to reports. the recent allegations stem from an incident involving a 15 year old girl who informer her mother that a number of boys attacked her and attempted to force her to perform oral sex. The young girl’s mother reported the incident to the school immediately but the school did not inform authorities until nearly a week after the incident took place. Some advocates for sexual abuse victims believe that the gap in time is a major problem.

Under California’s mandatory reporter laws, a school employee who knows or reasonably suspects that a child is being abused must report the alleged abuse to the authorities. This can include child informing protective agencies, the local police, the county probation department or county welfare department. A mandated reporter such as a public school employee must also make an initial report by telephone and follow up with a written report within 36 hours.

In this case, the parents of the young girl may be able to bring a civil action against the school for failing to do its duty as a mandatory reporter. If the family is able to demonstrate that the victim of the sexual abuse suffered emotional trauma in addition to any physical harm they may be able to recover significant civil remedies. The police, however, have said that no criminal charges have been brought yet against the perpetrators in the incident.

Source: News 10, “Questions raised about Twin Rivers reporting of alleged sex abuse,” Gabriel Roxas, January 3, 2012

© 2017 The Law Office of Marvin S. Lanter, Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer. All Rights Reserved.
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