Media Coverage of this issue:
- Hidden Predator Act of 2018 (WTOC-TV, Savannah)
- If lobbyists win, Hidden Predator Act will stay hidden
- Georgia lawmakers try to revive Hidden Predator Act
- Lobbyist for Archdiocese tries to gut childhood sexual abuse bill
Sexual abuse and sexual harassment stories have exploded into the headlines over the past year. But while these stories have been getting more attention of late, the problem is not a new one. A part of our practice focuses on childhood sexual abuse cases that often go back decades, working with people who have claims against individuals, churches, nonprofit organizations, and schools.
Our focus for this legislative session has been to work with our representatives to amend Georgia’s Hidden Predator Act. Key among our goals is to modify the legislation so that it appropriately applies to entities that breed, foster, and then hide their knowledge about the individuals responsible for these horrendous acts.
There are a number of legal remedies for victims of childhood sexual abuse. We have filed complaints on behalf of many clients on the basis of RICO violations, fraud, public nuisance, wrongful death, and childhood sexual abuse.
- We are working with more than 20 former students of the Darlington School in Rome, Georgia who have filed a lawsuit against the school and three individuals.
- We also represent several former Boy Scouts who’ve filed suit against the Boy Scouts, Northeast Georgia Council and two churches in Athens, Georgia.
Often these cases involve long-term, pervasive and systematic cover-ups by the organizations involved. The accused are allegedly aware of the abuse patterns but do nothing, thus allowing the conditions to continue for years or decades.
Amending Georgia’s Hidden Predator Act
A stronger Hidden Predator Act would provide victims of childhood sexual abuse another means to hold individuals, institutions and organizations accountable while bringing attention to sexual assault cases involving children and people in power.
It’s important that victims have a legal remedy against institutions and organizations that allow this sort of conduct to happen, whether that be through negligence, poor policies, failure to follow reporting laws, or simply turning a blind eye.
The Bottom Line: We want to focus on protecting our children rather than protecting the individuals and institutions accused of sexual abuse.