Huntington Beach School Sexual Abuse Lawyer

Schools should provide safe places for children and adolescents to learn, grow, and socialize. They should not put students at risk of becoming the victims of terrible sex crimes, such as inappropriate touching by teachers or peer-on-peer sexual abuse.

Sadly, school sexual abuse is prevalent throughout the country, including locally in Huntington Beach. If you are an adult survivor of school sexual abuse or your child has been sexually assaulted at a school in Huntington Beach, the Huntington Beach child sexual abuse attorneys at Manly, Stewart & Finaldi can help you seek justice.

Our lawyers provide the highest quality legal representation to victims of school sexual abuse. We can help you take legal action against the responsible parties and pursue the financial compensation that you need. Contact our Huntington Beach school sexual abuse lawyers today to learn more about what our dedicated team can do for you.

Why Choose Manly, Stewart & Finaldi?

 

Why Clients Trust Us With School Sexual Abuse Cases

  • We are a nationally recognized team of sexual abuse and assault attorneys. Our law firm has collected record-breaking settlements and jury verdicts on behalf of sexually abused children throughout the country.
  • Attorney John C. Manly has been successfully representing school sexual abuse victims for more than 25 years. He has been named to California’s Top 100 Attorneys by the Los Angeles Daily Journal.
  • As our client, your needs will always come first. We can keep your identity anonymous throughout your school sexual abuse case, if desired. We operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning you will pay us $0 unless we win your case.

Our School Sexual Abuse Case Results Speak For Themselves

Our experienced team of attorneys has been featured numerous times for achieving outstanding case outcomes for sexual abuse and assault victims.

 

Below are a few examples of the many life-changing results we have secured for school sexual abuse cases:

  • $825 million global settlement for victims of former University of Southern California doctor George Tyndall – the largest personal injury settlement against any college or university in history.
  • $490 million global settlement for victims of former University of Michigan sports team doctor Robert Anderson.
  • $140 million global settlement for victims of Miramonte Elementary School teacher Mark Berndt – the largest child sex abuse settlement against any public agency (the Los Angeles Unified School District) in the United States.
  • $88 million global settlement for claims against the Los Angeles Unified School District for the sexual abuse of minor students at TelFair Elementary School and George De La Torre Elementary School.

We recognize that no amount of financial compensation could ever right the egregious wrong of school sexual abuse. However, we hope that by achieving the case results our clients deserve they find it easier to rebuild their lives and move forward as much as possible.

Discover More Case Results 

How Our Huntington Beach School Sexual Abuse Lawyer Can Help You

You have been through enough as a victim or the parent of a victim of school sexual abuse. It’s time to let an experienced Huntington Beach school sexual abuse attorney take over. Hiring a school sexual abuse lawyer in Huntington Beach can immediately relieve your family of the burden of taking legal action against a school or school district in Huntington Beach. Your attorney will handle your case using a high level of sensitivity and respect while aggressively advocating for your rights.

An attorney from Manly, Stewart & Finaldi will:

  1. Investigate your case.
  2. Identify the parties to hold accountable.
  3. Collect evidence and take over settlement negotiations with an insurance company.

We have the resources to connect with highly qualified experts and consultants worldwide to work with our team of attorneys. As your Huntington Beach school sexual abuse lawyers, we will do what it takes to fight for justice on your behalf.

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Types of School Sexual Abuse Cases We Handle
What Does School Sexual Abuse Look Like?
Where Does School Sexual Abuse Take Place?
Criminal vs. Civil Cases for School Sexual Abuse in Huntington Beach
Holding a School Liable for Student Sexual Abuse in Huntington Beach
Signs of School Sexual Abuse
Reporting School Sexual Abuse
Potential Financial Compensation
Child Sexual Abuse Statute of Limitations
Contact Us

Types of School Sexual Abuse Cases We Handle in Huntington Beach

Manly, Stewart & Finaldi accepts all types of school sexual abuse and assault cases in Huntington Beach and the surrounding areas.

We can represent clients in cases involving:

  • Art schools
  • Boarding schools
  • Charter schools
  • Colleges and universities
  • Elementary schools
  • High schools
  • Junior high schools
  • Juvenile court schools
  • Magnet schools
  • Military schools
  • Private schools
  • Public schools
  • Religiously affiliated schools

We have experience helping victims of teacher sexual abuse, peer sexual abuse, sports and coach sexual abuse, hazing sexual abuse, sexual bullying, online sexual abuse, and more.

What Does School Sexual Abuse Look Like?

School sexual abuse is an umbrella phrase that applies to any type of sex crime that takes place within an educational setting. This includes:

  • Exposing a student to pornography
  • Exposing one’s genitals to a student (exhibitionism)
  • Inappropriate touching or fondling
  • Observing students without their knowledge (voyeurism)
  • Online sexual exploitation
  • Penetration or sodomy
  • Rape or statutory rape
  • Requests for sexual favors
  • Sending sexually explicit texts or messages
  • Sexual bullying
  • Sexual harassment
  • Unwanted kissing 
  • Unwelcome sexual advances

It is against California’s age of consent law to engage in sexual activity with any child under the age of 18. In addition, sexual relationships between teachers and students are prohibited regardless of the age of the student. Our Huntington Beach sexual harassment lawyer can help review your case in a free consultation and discuss your potential options for pursing legal recourse.

Where Does School Sexual Abuse Take Place?

School sexual abuse does not only refer to illegal or nonconsensual sexual activity on school grounds, such as in classrooms, bathrooms or locker rooms. It also includes sexual abuse and assault incidents that occur off-campus, such as during field trips, sporting events, extracurricular activities, after-school programs, or in off-campus housing, dorm rooms, fraternities and sororities, school buses, student health care centers, and virtual campuses.

Criminal vs. Civil Cases for School Sexual Abuse in Huntington Beach

California law explicitly prohibits sexual assault and abuse against children. California Penal Code § 288(a) PC states:

“A person who willfully and lewdly commits any lewd or lascivious act…upon or with the body, or any part or member thereof, of a child who is under the age of 14 years, with the intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying the lust, passions, or sexual desires of that person or the child, is guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for three, six, or eight years.”

Sexual assault involving the nonconsensual touching of a child between the ages of 14 and 17 is also against the law under California Penal Code § 261.5. In addition to a criminal conviction and sentence, a perpetrator could face civil consequences for child sexual abuse in California. A survivor has the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against the perpetrator in pursuit of financial compensation. The school or educational institution may also face legal responsibility.

Holding a School Liable for Student Sexual Abuse in Huntington Beach

Schools have a legal responsibility to take measures to prevent sexual abuse. Laws such as Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 require schools to take steps to prevent foreseeable risks of sexual abuse, detect sexual abuse that is occurring within the school and take prompt action to address sexual misconduct complaints.

If a school or any of its administrators or staff fall short of these responsibilities, the school can be held liable (legally and financially responsible) for student sexual abuse. A victim could file a civil lawsuit against a public school, school district, private school or another type of school for its contribution to an incident of sexual assault or abuse.

At Manly, Stewart & Finaldi, we can go up against the Huntington Beach City School District or other defendants to hold them responsible for their part in allowing or failing to prevent student sexual abuse. We understand the duties of care that schools owe their students and how to hold them accountable for enabling sexual predators to prey on victims.

Signs of School Sexual Abuse

Recognizing the potential signs of school sexual abuse is crucial for the safety and well-being of students in Huntington Beach. Warning signs of school sexual abuse can be physical, behavioral and/or emotional.

While the following signs do not necessarily confirm sexual abuse, they indicate a need for further investigation:

  • Unusual physical injuries, especially involving the genitalia
  • Bloody or stained sheets or undergarments
  • Inappropriate knowledge of sexual subjects
  • Withdrawal or isolation from others
  • Signs of depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Nightmares or trouble sleeping
  • Loss of interest in favorite hobbies and activities
  • Abrupt shifts in mood, personality or behavior
  • “Acting out” or behaving aggressively
  • Behavioral regression, such as reverting to thumb-sucking or bed-wetting 
  • Sudden decrease in school performance or truancy
  • Avoiding school or a specific teacher or coach
  • Being bullied at school or bullying others
  • Sudden changes in appearance, such as weight fluctuations or poor hygiene
  • Eating disorders
  • Substance use or abuse
  • Suicidal thoughts, tendencies or self-harm

The signs of sexual abuse can vary depending on the age of the student and the nature of the incident. If any parent, educator or caregiver notices red flags that may point to school sexual abuse, they should report it to the appropriate authorities immediately, such as the school, law enforcement and Child Protective Services.

Should I Report Huntington Beach School Sexual Abuse?

Reporting school sexual abuse can come with numerous benefits. It can bring a perpetrator to justice and hold a school accountable, potentially protecting other students from sexual misconduct in the future. It can also provide the victim with a sense of closure that is critical for healing from the trauma of sexual abuse.

In California, certain individuals – including teachers, school administrators and other education personnel – are legally required to report suspicions of child sexual abuse to the authorities under the Mandatory Reporter Law. Failing to do so can have legal consequences, such as jail time and fines.

What Types of Financial Compensation Are Available?

The goal of a civil lawsuit for school sexual abuse is to make the victim whole again by providing financial compensation (referred to as damages) for his or her losses. A successful civil suit can require one or multiple parties to pay a settlement or judgment to reimburse a victim for all costs and losses associated with the wrongdoing.

In California, a sexual abuse survivor may be entitled to various economic and noneconomic damages, such as:

  • Past and future medical bills
  • Mental health counseling and therapy
  • Prescription medications 
  • Lost wages and lost future capacity to earn
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish and emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium
  • Wrongful death damages
  • Exemplary damages to punish the defendant, in some cases

Every school sexual abuse case is unique. The Huntington Beach school sexual abuse attorneys at Manly, Stewart & Finaldi will pursue maximum financial compensation on your behalf and fight for the case results that you deserve.

We do not push our clients to accept fast settlements. Instead, we aggressively negotiate with insurance companies and, if necessary, take defendants to trial for just compensation.

What Is the Statute of Limitations on a Child Sexual Abuse Case in California?

A law known as the statute of limitations places a time limit on a victim’s right to file a sexual abuse lawsuit. However, on January 1, 2024, the California state law was updated to eliminate the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse claims. Assembly Bill (AB) 452  became effective and reads:

“340.1. (a) There is no time limit for the commencement of any of the following actions for recovery of damages suffered as a result of childhood sexual assault:

  • An action against any person for committing an act of childhood sexual assault.
  • An action for liability against any person or entity who owed a duty of care to the plaintiff, if a wrongful or negligent act by that person or entity was a legal cause of the childhood sexual assault that resulted in the injury to the plaintiff.
  • An action for liability against any person or entity if an intentional act by that person or entity was a legal cause of the childhood sexual assault that resulted in the injury to the plaintiff.”

This means that now claimants do not have a specific time period to pursue a case against those that committed an act of childhood sexual assault or abuse.

Contact Our Huntington Beach School Sexual Abuse Attorney Today

If you or a loved one was sexually abused at a school in Huntington Beach, help is available at Manly, Stewart & Finaldi. Our Huntington Beach sexual abuse attorneys can tackle any challenge and go up against any adversary on your behalf, including Huntington Beach schools, school districts and the government. We are prepared to take your case to trial, if necessary, at no costs upfront.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you during this difficult time. Request a free and confidential case consultation by calling (800) 700-8450 or contacting us online anytime.