Against an all girls religious high school for negligent supervision of a teacher who engaged in sexual conduct with a student on school property
Against a University for Child Sexual Abuse
Against a psychiatric hospital for their failure to prevent a woman in their care from being sexually assaulted.
Against a religious organization because of their negligent supervision of a pedophile priest who sexually abused a child
Against a correctional facility for negligently supervising a guard that physically and sexually abused an inmate in their care
Against child protective services for their failures in preventing the sexual abuse of a child within their care and custody
For a child who was sexually abused by a clergy member
Against a Christian Board School and other defendants that allowed horrific acts of sexual and physical violence against the young children in their care.
Our firm proudly represents survivors of sexual assault and abuse in civil lawsuits against the institutions and facilities that allowed the abuse to occur, as well as the people that commit such horrific crimes.
We have successfully litigated against national churches, schools, universities, camps, day care centers, hospitals, doctors’ offices, and massage chains as examples.
Six of our firm’s lawyers are former prosecutors who have guided victims of crime, including survivors of sexual assault/abuse, rape and child molestation, through the criminal justice system. Our team has handled hundreds of sexual assault and abuse cases across the country including widely covered cases such as sexual assaults involving Massage Envy, Hand & Stone, Penn State’s Jerry Sandusky, Miracle Meadows Boarding School, The Roman Catholic Church, Scientology, Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, Seventh-day Adventist Church, Delaware County Juvenile Detention Center, Southern Baptist Convention, Jeffrey Epstein, and Valley Forge Military Academy.
The litigation team includes attorneys Guy D’Andrea and Stewart Ryan. Mr. D’Andrea served as an Assistant District Attorney at the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office where he tried hundreds of cases. Stewart Ryan who recently joined the firm was one of the lead attorneys in the sex assault case against Bill Cosby, Commonwealth v. William H. Cosby Jr.
In one case, Kelly v. Bradley (Delaware District Court), our firm represented a man who filed a civil child molestation lawsuit against a state court judge. The civil lawsuit was the only remedy since the criminal statute of limitations had expired.
Despite receiving backlash from the legal community, the sex abuse victims rights lawyers at Laffey, Bucci & Kent accepted the case and succeeded. The judge admitted to the abuse and was later disbarred. Read the Delaware Office of Disciplinary Counsel digest regarding Judge William Bradley.
Sadly, sexual abuse can happen to anyone. Oftentimes, companies and institutions attempt to protect predators by sweeping reports of sexual assault under the rug. These companies also have been known to avoid media attention and investigations by law enforcement.
Unfortunately, sexual assault occurs in many settings, including:
No business or profession is immune from these horrific crimes. Sexual predators often hide behind the walls of an institution. Let us expose them and effectuate change by holding the organizations that allowed the assault and abuse accountable.
The civil justice system helps individuals and victims hold others accountable for their actions. It allows people to sue for monetary damages and to obtain recovery for harm caused by another person or entity.
The process starts when a person or entity files a complaint against another person or entity over some form of wrongdoing. The person who initiates the case is known as the plaintiff, while the person against whom the case is filed is known as the defendant.
The complaint includes a list of allegations of harm or wrongdoing by the plaintiff against the defendant. The defendant will have a certain amount of time to formally respond to the allegations, or they can make other types of motions, such as a motion to dismiss the complaint.
The case will go through a series of stages and will be resolved through a settlement or go to trial, where each side will have the opportunity to present their side of the case and make arguments. The plaintiff has the burden of proving their case, while the defendant only has to defend their side of the story.
A judge or jury will determine the outcome once each side has presented their case. If the court rules in favor of the plaintiff, they are typically awarded damages or a form of monetary compensation from the defendant.
According to the United States Department of Justice, victims have legal rights in the criminal justice system, including the right to respect and recognition; the right to be informed and present at court proceedings; access to justice and the opportunity to speak with prosecutors; assistance and support; and the right to be heard at the sentencing of the accused.
The criminal and civil court system operate independently of each other. Both criminal and civil cases can take place at the same time, but both have statutes of limitations – a legal time period for which a person can be prosecuted for committing a crime. Most states have two- to three-year statute of limitations for civil sexual assault cases. However, circumstanced vary depending on your age at the time of the sexual assault and how much time has passed since.
In a civil case, the victim sues the offender for harm where the outcome might be monetary resources that help the survivor to recover; in a criminal case, the victim acts as a witness in court for the prosecution.
Unlike the civil justice system, where a plaintiff sues the offending party, known as the defendant, for wrongdoing, it is up to the state or federal government to hold criminals accountable for their actions and to grant justice to the victims of a crime.
The criminal justice system is comprised of law enforcement, the court system and correctional agencies. A criminal case is designed to determine the guilt or innocence of the accused individuals. A successful prosecution in a criminal case can include hefty fines paid to the government, jail time, probation, a criminal record or other penalties.
If you or someone you know has experienced sexual assault, you’re not alone. There are resources and support services to help you. If you are in danger, dial 911. For immediate help and support, please call the 24-hour National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673). It’s supported by RAIIN and it’s confidential and safe.
You may experience a wide range of emotions, including extreme fatigue, confusion, anger, depression, pain, anxiety, and more. It’s important to reach out for help. The first thing to do is to make sure you are in a safe, comfortable place and out of danger. Then, reach out for support from a trusted source who will listen to you.
Seek medical attention. This will be especially important if you decide to pursue legal action against a sexual assault perpetrator. It’s important to refrain from taking a shower or changing clothes until after you meet with a medical professional who can collect evidence that may be useful at a later time.
You need to consider your legal options. You may be reluctant to report the assault right away. It’s normal to feel reluctant about reporting sexual assault. It’s important to understand that part of the sexual assault is about taking away your power and your voice. Filing a police report, sharing your story or seeking justice for the assault is the beginning of your recovery and will empower you to stand up for yourself.
To report a sexual assault, dial 911, visit the hospital emergency room or call the 24-hour National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673). You can also contact Laffey, Bucci and Kent at 215-399-9255 to speak with experienced, compassionate and trauma-informed professionals who understand the process and can help you.
Each state has a statute of limitations for filing criminal and civil cases. When the statute of limitations run out (expire), criminal prosecution is no longer possible. You may still be able to file a civil case, depending on how long ago the sexual assault occurred and the victim’s age at the time of the incident. Contact Laffey, Bucci and Kent at 215-399-9255 to speak with experienced, compassionate and trauma-informed professionals who understand the process and can help you.
“Compassionate” Brian and his team understood my struggle completely.
Our attorneys are licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and other states. The firm also has the resources to handle matters across the country and accepts referrals from local attorneys.
One of the most difficult things for people to understand is why children remain silent about sex abuse. The answer has to do with the dynamics of the twisted relationship between the abuser and the child. Even as adults, individuals who were sexually abused have immense difficulty coming to terms with the abuse. It often takes decades before a victim of abuse can come to grips with the abuse.