Articles Posted in Sexual Abuse

Another two women reportedly plan to sue Doral Golf Resort & Spa for Miami personal injury. They claim that they too were sexually assaulted by employees will receiving spa treatments at the luxury facility. Already, two women have filed their Florida sexual assault lawsuits.

One spa worker, David Muñoz, has already been charged with one count of sexual battery for allegedly assaulting a woman during a massage. Another masseur, John J. Pacheco, is also accused of sexual assault. The victim that named him told CBS4 that the experience was a “a devastating nightmare.”

Sexual assault is a crime and can also be grounds for a Miami personal injury case against the assailant and other related parties. For instance, another woman has filed a Broward County personal injury case against Henderson Mental Health Center because she claims that her counselor threatened to take her son away from her if she didn’t have sex with him.

Rev. Neil Doherty, a former Roman Catholic priest who has already been named in 25 sex abuse complaints, has been named once again in another case. This one is a Miami-Dade County clergy sex abuse lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Miami.

The complaint accuses Doherty, who is retired and behind Bars in Broward County, of abusing the plaintiff over a 3-year period beginning when he was 8 during the early 90’s. The accuser claims that Doherty, who was with Holy Redeemer Church in Liberty City at the time, would wear his priest’s collar and ride his car through the neighborhood. The plaintiff says that the priest abused him and gave him drugs more than 50 times.

The alleged victim is also claiming the Archdiocese of Miami knew that Doherty had been abusing boys since the 70’s but did not keep the priest away from young kids. Last November, Doherty was arrested on charges he violated the terms of a pretrial release related to his arrest on 2006 on Miami child sex abuse charges. The former priest, who had been under house arrest, was ordered to jail after his GPS device became disconnected for the 8th time since 2009.

A family of a young boy who was allegedly molested by art and music teacher Miguel Cala is suing St. Andrew’ Catholic School and The Archdiocese of Miami for Coral Springs personal injuries to a minor. They claim that Cala, 37, molested the boy at his home while giving him music lessons. The alleged Florida sex abuse incidents took place between 2009 and August 2010.

In their Broward County injury complaint, the family accuses Cala of using his role at the school and at the parish (he no longer teaches at the school) to scope out possible victims. The boy’s mother learned that he had been molested by Cala after she contacted the authorities because the teacher had stopped showing up for the lessons. She was told that Cala was under investigation for possible sexual abuse.

Cala was arrested last September on charges related to the sexual abuse of another boy, who had also been one of his private music students. Police believe there may be more victims.

A 55-year-old man is suing the Archdiocese of Miami for Florida personal injury. The plaintiff, Willard Trent, says that a priest sexually abused him when he was an altar boy during the 1960’s. Trent is seeking in excess of $5 million in damages.

At the time the alleged Florida sexual abuse incidents were taking place, the priest, Father Thomas Dennehy, was the pastor of St. John the Baptist church and the principal of Cardinal Gibbons High School. He retired in 1993 and died in 1999.

Trent claims that the sex abuse happened on more than one occasion. He says that sodomy and oral sex were involved and that Dennehy would occasionally dress him in a Catholic school girl’s uniform. Trent says that other priests participated in some of the sexual acts. He says that he repressed the memories until last year when he went back to the church and his memories resurfaced. Trent contends that the Archdiocese know that Dennehy was sexually abusing minors and chose to conceal the alleged incidents. The Archdiocese has said that until Trent stepped forward, it was unaware of any alleged sexual abuse incidents involving Dennehy.

In Florida, the Archdiocese of Miami issued a public apology to a teenage girl who was sexually assaulted by a Pinecrest Catholic Church youth minister. The apology is part of the sex abuse settlement the archdiocese reached with the teenager and her family.

In a Florida sexual abuse lawsuit, the girl accused then-19-year old Anthony B. Ricco of assaulting her a number of times in 2006. She also alleges that St. Louis Catholic Church Pastor James Fetscher and Senior Youth Minister Paul Herring knew as early as 2004 that Ricco had sexually molested other girls but failed to notify Florida police or prevent him from abusing other girls. The 15-year-old’s parents reported Ricco to Pinecrest authorities after they found out that he had sexual intercourse with their daughter.

As late as last year, the archdiocese denied it knew about any allegations of sexual abuse involving Ricco, who pleaded no contest to nine counts of lewd and lascivious battery in December 2006, with some of the charges related to his sexual relationship with the teen. As part of Ricco’s plea agreement, the judgment against him was withheld, which means that Ricco technically does not have a criminal record.

In two Florida lawsuits filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court, two more men are suing a former Broward County priest for child sex abuse. They claim that Rev. Neil Doherty gave them toys and money in exchange for sex when they were kids in the 1980’s. They also allege that the Archdiocese of Miami knew about the abuse but tried to cover up the incidents.

The two men, who are cousins, are also related to other victims that have sued the archdiocese for sex abuse. Many of the cases have settled without going to trial. These two lawsuits are the latest of 14 lawsuits naming Doherty.

Doherty, who retired in 2002, is accused of sexually abusing boys in the St. Mary’s Cathedral rectory, his car, and his private residence. The Miami Archdiocese is accused of interviewing his victims in 1987 and then trying to conceal their findings.

Clergy Sex Abuse
Clergy sex abuse is an insidious problem that has only been brought to awareness in recent years.

According to the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, between 1950 and 2002:

• 4,392 priests/deacons were accused of sexual abuse.
• More than 10,600 people reported that they were victims of clergy abuse.
• 81% of the victims were male.
• 50% of the victims were age 11-14 years old when the abuse happened.

Priests are often entrusted with the supervision of children, and when they abuse this trust by sexually molesting or assaulting a child, they can be held liable.

In a separate criminal case, the 65-year-old former St. Vincent’s Catholic Church pastor has been charged with multiple counts of molestation, lewd and lascivious acts, and sexual battery. Doherty has pled not guilty to the charges.

Our South Florida child sex abuse law firm knows that sexual abuse is a trauma that can lead to lifelong emotional injuries and other damages. We can work with you to recover compensation from the negligent party.

Former Broward priest faces two lawsuits on molestation charges, Sun-Sentinel.com, June 26, 2008
Clergy abuse statistics at a glance, Clergy Abuse Statistics, February 27, 2004

Related Web Resources:

Spotlight: Abuse in the Catholic Church, Boston.com
Former Priest Charged with Child Sexual Abuse, Bishop Accountability, January 27, 2006 Continue reading

In South Florida, Dr. Gunwant Dhaliwal, the physician named as a defendant in several sex abuse lawsuits, has been charged with two counts of misdemeanor battery.

The 46-year-old internist, who has medical practices in New Port Richey, Holiday, and Spring Hill, has denied all the abuse allegations and says the women are just trying to get money from him.

Dhaliwal has been sued four times in Hernando and Pasco County, and there have been nine complaints about him made to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office over the past eight years. Several of the complaints were filed after the statute of limitations expired.

One woman, Danielle Turner, told police that Dhaliwal touched her inappropriately on February 12, 2007 after she was hired to work at his New Port Richey office. Another woman, patient Marissa Satinoff, says Dhaliwal inappropriately touched her during a medical exam. In Hernando County, patient Tammy King filed a Florida sex abuse lawsuit after she says that the doctor fondled her on February 6, 2007.

Sex Abuse
While acts of sex abuse are punishable by law, a sex abuse victim also has the right to file a sexual abuse lawsuit against the perpetrator for injuries, pain and suffering, and other damages.

In many cases, there may not be sufficient physical evidence to prove that someone was molested or touched inappropriately by a doctor, a teacher, a counselor, a priest, a relative, or a stranger. Some sex abuse victims can repress their memories for years.

Our Florida sex abuse lawyers know how to investigate and prove that you are entitled to compensation, and we are sensitive to your challenges even as you courageously pursue recovery from the responsible party.

Dr. Charged in Fondling Case, Tampabay.com, June 3, 2008
Pasco doctor accused of fondling patients, ABCActionnews.com, June 3, 2008

Related Web Resources:

Job Seeker Says Doctor Fondled Her, TBO.com, June 11, 2008
Gunwant Dhaliwal, Walk In Clinics Continue reading

In Broward County, Florida, the aunt of a teenage girl who was sexually abused by her adoptive father is suing Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale and its school. The Florida sex abuse lawsuit alleges that the church failed to protect the then-15-year-old girl from the sexual advances of Rodger Allen Thomas, who would visit her at the Calvary Christian Academy. The girl’s aunt is asking for $3 million in damages.

Church officials say they did not know the abuse was taking place until Thomas was arrested. They say that the lawsuit is the first time they were aware that any abuse incidents occurred at the academy. The church pastoral service reportedly tried to help the girl but she denied the abuse was taking place.

The girl’s aunt, who is her temporary guardian, says that the teenager’s stepfather had told the church that he had concerns about the adoptive father’s treatment of the girl. He says he went to academy officials after he found the girl in Thomas’s bed.

The girl’s aunt says that the church was negligent because it opted to handle the case “in house” rather than involving the Florida police.

Thomas is a church member. Thomas, his wife, the girl’s stepfather, and her stepfather’s fiancé are all employed by the church. The four of them had been battling for custody of the girl.

Thomas was arrested in 2006 for sexually abusing her. He pleaded no contest to three counts of sexual battery and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

If you or someone you love is the victim of sexual abuse, do not hesitate to contact our South Florida personal injury law firm right away. Our Ft. Lauderdale sexual abuse lawyers have the experience and resources to successfully pursue a sexual abuse claim or lawsuit against the negligent party or parties responsible for your pain and suffering.

There may even be third parties, such as a premise owner who did not take the proper measures to prevent the sexual abuse from happening, that can be held liable for your injuries.

Fort Lauderdale church denies fault in lawsuit that alleges sex abuse of girl on campus, Sun-Sentinel, May 18, 2008
Abuse Tracker, Bishopaccountability.org

Related Web Resource:

Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale
Continue reading

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