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Sexual Assault

Sunday, September 4, 2016

More Teacher-Student Sexual Assaults and Sexual Relationships in Texas than in Any Other State

Why are so many sexual relationships between teachers and students occurring in our schools? 

It is alarming to think that parents, with all the other dangers they have to worry about in terms of their children's safety, also have to be wary of their children's relationships with their teachers. The Newtown massacre made all parents acutely and painfully aware that school is no longer the safe haven we once believed it was. Now, the increasing reportage of teachers sexually assaulting, or coaxing their students into sexual contact, brings into question the trust we have been encouraged to have in those who were supposed to be in loco parentis, protecting our children when we cannot be with them.

If you suspect that your child or adolescent is being sexually victimized by a coach or teacher, you should report the matter to the school authorities, have your child checked medically and psychologically, and engage the services of a Read more . . .

Monday, February 22, 2016

Sexual Assaults: What the Statistics Tell Us

Can the facts about sexual assaults help us to protect ourselves?

 As we are all well aware, through media coverage, if not firsthand or secondhand information, sexual assault is a crime that is all too prevalent in our society. Though attention lately seems to focus on assaults on college campuses and assaults involving celebrity athletes, the problem is pervasive in all areas of our communities. Hopefully, increased awareness of when, where and how these crimes take place will help us to diminish their frequency and keep ourselves and our families from being victimized.

Where and When Sexual Assaults Occur

Though many people fear stranger-rape in heavily populated urban areas or in the solitude of the woods, 50 percent of sexual assaults take place within a one-mile radius of the home or within the home itself. Other locations of sexual assaults are:

  • Public area, such as a park or parking lot (18 percent)
  • Home of a friend, neighbor or relative (13 percent)
  • School (7 percent)


    Over 60 percent of sexual assaults occur between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.

    The Victims of Sexual Assaults

    The following are important statistics about the victims of sexual assaults: 44 four percent are under the age of 18 and 80 percent are under the age of 30. This, as we know, does not mean older individuals are immune to sexual assault since the crime is one of violence, not lust.

    Frequency and Reportage of Sexual Assaults

    Sexual assaults occur with alarming frequency. In the United States, someone is sexually assaulted every 107 seconds. Annually, almost 300,000 individuals are victims of sexual assault.

    It is estimated that as many as 68 percent of sexual assaults are not reported to the police.

    Facts about Sexual Offenders

    Contrary to the myth that sexual offenders are usually strangers, it is approximated that four out of five offenders are known to their victims, and almost half are actually friends or acquaintances. Astonishingly, as many as 25 percent of offenders are intimates of their victims and 5 percent are relatives.

    Statistics about sexual offenders themselves include the following facts:

  • The average age of offenders is 31 years old
  • More than half of those who commit sexual assaults are white
  • Almost a quarter of imprisoned sexual offenders report being married
  • Nearly a fifth of sexual assaults are committed by minors
  • One in three sexual offenses is committed by someone intoxicated with alcohol or drugs
  • 11 percent of offenders used weapons; the rest used only physical force and intimidation
  • Nearly half of sexual offenders commit another type of criminal offense within 3 years

For a combination of reasons, including under-reportage, about 98 percent of those who commit sexual assault will never be incarcerated.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of a sexual assault, it is essential to obtain medical and psychological care and to contact a personal injury attorney experienced in the field promptly.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Cases of Sexual Misconduct by Police Are on the Rise

What can be done about sexual assault?

Last December, a former Oklahoma City police officer was convicted on 18 charges of sexually assaulting 13 women. While his conviction does not represent the law enforcement community, there are other cases of male police officers using their position of authority to victimize women. Across the nation as well as in the state of Texas, cases of police officers being charged with, or convicted of, sexual assault are on the rise.

For example, in June 2016, an Amarillo police officer was fired after he responded to a 911 call at the home of a victim of domestic violence. Not only did the officer not help the woman, he raped her.
The aggravated assault charges, unfortunately, were not an isolated incident. These accusations surface more frequently than one would believe, not only in Texas, but across the country.

Other cases of misconduct are not as dramatic as these. In December, a trooper was fired by the Texas Department of Public Safety after he stopped a woman for speeding and then offered her$300 to have sex with him. Then there is the case of a former Odessa police officer who was convicted on five counts of improper sexual activity after he confessed to groping five women he pulled over for traffic stops.

These cases are often referred to a grand jury, but grand juries are very reluctant to indict police officers, as was the case with the Amarillo officer. Moreover, criminal convictions are rare, although police departments do take disciplinary measures.

In a recent study recently reported by the Associated Press, over a 6 year period, nearly 1,000 officers had their licenses to work in law enforcement revoked because of sexual misconduct. In addition, others were fired, but their licenses were not revoked. That being said, these 1,000 cases involve a small percentage of the 1.1 million police in the United States.

Even if these cases do not reflect the conduct of most police officers, they are still an abuse of power that damages a lot of people. The victims, of course, suffer not only from the physical assault, but from the resulting emotional trauma. Moreover, the law enforcement community is tarnished by these incidents. And the public at large is put at risk, becoming fearful of being pulled over by the police or making a 911 call in an emergency.

In spite of the facts that grand juries are not inclined to indict police officers, and criminal convictions are rare, there are other legal remedies. If you have been the victim of sexual assault, you should consult with an attorney who can determine if you may be entitled to monetary compensation.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

For the First Time Bill Cosby Has Been Criminally Charged with Sexual Assault

What differentiates this accusation of sexual assault from all the others?

After many years of allegations, some dating back to the 1960s, Bill Cosby is, for the first time, facing criminal charges of sexual assault by prosecutors in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. The comedian/actor has been charged with felony indecent assault for an event that took place in early 2004. The alleged victim, Andrea Constand, first accused Cosby of drugging and sexually assaulting her a year after the attack, but, at that time, the prosecutors declined to press charges.

Now, however, after a second investigation of available evidence and after more than 50 women have come forward with strikingly similar accusations, Assistant District Attorney Kevin Steele is seeking justice for the victim, reminding the public that the incident is still within the state's 12-year statute of limitations. During the intervening years, Cosby has sued seven of his alleged victims for defamation of character, claiming they were accusing him either to obtain financial settlement or to enhance their flagging careers. During the intervening years, Constand herself filed a civil lawsuit against Cosby as well.

Constand's story has not changed during these long, painful years. She reports that Cosby, whom she considered a friend and mentor at the time, drugged and assaulted her when she was a Temple University employee. She states that, on the evening in question, he urged her to drink wine and take herbal pills to "relax" her which, once they took effect, rendered her completely helpless and unable to move. It was during this period, according to her testimony, that the defendant "touched her breasts and vaginal area, rubbed his penis against her hand and digitally penetrated her." These actions are the basis of the felony sexual assault charge.

Fortunately for Constand, and for the other alleged victims of Cosby seeking validation, Pennsylvania law allows prosecutors to introduce other allegations if such allegations help to establish a pattern of criminal behavior. According to legal experts, there is little chance that testimony of other alleged victims will be kept hidden from the public since this material is crucial to Constand's case. It is considered likely that the testimony heard during the upcoming trial will finish off what is left of Cosby's once stellar reputation.

In some ways, Cosby has been his own worst enemy. As a popular actor and comedian who broke racial barriers early in his career, he went on to become a kind of self-appointed statesmen for ethical behavior among black males. Giving clear testimony of his own hypocrisy, Cosby acknowledged in a 2005 civil deposition (in answer to Constand's civil suit) that he rather routinely gave Quaaludes to women with whom he wanted to have sex with. This corroborates the testimony of dozens of women who stated that Cosby had a large supply of pills (sometimes described as a briefcase full) in his possession most of the time to "relax" women he interacted with.
This past July, U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno, while unsealing records, indicated that Cosby, by "donn[ing] the mantle of public moralist... and volunteer[ing] his views on...childrearing, family life, education, and crime" Crosby has "voluntarily narrowed the zone of privacy that he is entitled to claim."

Sexual assault is a very serious offense. If you have been a victim of this traumatic crime, you should contact an attorney skilled in handling sexual assaults to ensure the best possible outcome of your case.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Dallas Rape Victim Awarded $21 Million Following Civil Lawsuit Against Lascivious Job Interviewer

Is sexual assault or rape compensable in a civil lawsuit? If so, what is the cause of action?

In many Texas personal injury cases, plaintiffs plead the cause of action known as “negligence,” which essentially asserts that the defendant failed to act reasonably given the facts and circumstances at hand. Negligence does not involve an intentional mental intent, and it often occurs as a result of an accident or reckless behavior.

On the other hand, a body of law known as “intentional torts” addresses misconduct against a plaintiff that involve purposeful, intentional conduct. Intentional torts include assault, battery, false imprisonment or intentional infliction of emotional distress, and are equally as compensable as accidental negligence.

In one recent case, a Dallas-area woman recovered $21 million in a civil lawsuit for damages against a restaurant owner accused of sexually assaulting her during a job interview in 2011. Following a four-day bench trial (i.e., a trial without a jury), the court ordered a $21.43 million verdict after hearing testimony that the interviewer lured the victim with beer and whiskey under the pretext of a job interview. After passing out, the victim awoke in a nearby hotel room while the defendant was engaged in overt sexual activity.. After he fled the scene, the victim alerted authorities and the perpetrator eventually pleaded no contest to the sexual assault charges. He filed for personal and business bankruptcy protection the day following the assault. Ttragically, his violent sexual assault resulted in the transmission an incurable herpes simplex virus to the victim.

At the conclusion of the trial, the judge remarked that the facts of this case were some of the most egregious in recent memory, resulting in one of the largest bench trial verdicts in Dallas County history.

If you or someone close to you has recently been injured and/or sexually assaulted by another person and would like to discuss your rights under Texas personal injury laws, please do not hesitate to contact Sawicki Law by calling 888.468.8844 today  Our skilled, compassionate attorneys are available to serve you anywhere in the state of Texas.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Hospital Sued by Patient After Alleged Rape By Nurse

Can an Employer Be Held Responsible for Failing to Perform a Background Check on an Employee?

If you find yourself admitted to a hospital, you expect that the medical staff will be caring for you rather than harming you. That was not the case according to one woman who is suing The Medical Center of Plano.

Debe Castro alleges that her nurse, Wilson Karago, raped her while she was recovering from a surgical procedure. Karago gave Castro her prescribed nighttime medications, which included Ambien, and then returned to her room several hours later and assaulted her. Karago has been indicted for felony sexual assault, but he left the country before police could arrest him. It is believed that Karago returned to Kenya, where he has lived for most of his life.
Represented by Mike Sawicki, Castro is suing The Medical Center of Plano for failing to protect her. Specifically, Castro asserts that the hospital failed to perform an adequate background check when it hired Karago. There were several troubling allegations surrounding Karago that should have been easily discovered and prevented him from being hired by the Texas hospital, according to Castro.

While working at a hospital in Indiana, Karago was accused of poisoning his infant daughter with insulin. The six-month-old baby was admitted to the hospital where Karago and the baby's mother worked. The Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) took custody of the infant, but she was ultimately reunited with her mother. Karago, rather than cooperating with the DCS investigation, moved to Texas and lost custody of his daughter. About two months prior to the insulin poisoning, Karago and his daughter were rescued from an icy river; Karago had driven his car into the river, claiming he blacked out before the crash. Before fleeing the United States altogether, Karago had more than one paternity suit filed against him and failed to pay child support for at least two children.

In addition to Castro's assertion that The Medical Center of Plano failed to perform a sufficient background check before hiring Karago, her lawsuit alleges other negligence against the hospital. Castro's contentions include that the hospital failed to hire proper security and should not have allowed a male employee to enter a female patient's room alone while she was partially sedated.

Dallas, Texas personal injury attorney Michael Sawicki represents clients in all types of sexual assault and personal injury cases. For a free consultation, call the Sawicki Law Firm today at (888) 468-8844.

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