School Sexual Abuse Lawyer San Bernardino County
Sexual abuse at school can impact a student for life. Survivors of school sexual abuse can experience related issues as adults, such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety. At Manly, Stewart & Finaldi, we want to help abuse survivors take back their lives. We work hard in pursuit of justice for our clients, taking all the steps necessary to hold the responsible parties accountable. We are not afraid of taking on a school district in San Bernardino County. If you wish to discuss your case for free and in confidence with an attorney, contact us today.
Why Choose Our Firm?
- We have attorneys recognized throughout the nation as premier legal advocates serving the needs of sexual abuse survivors.
- We have effectively represented over 100 clients who suffered school sexual abuse in California, with impressive case results.
- We have a founder and managing partner, Attorney John C. Manly, who has successfully represented sexual assault survivors for over 25 years.
Why You Need a Lawyer in San Bernardino County
At Manly, Stewart & Finaldi, we have dedicated our professional lives to advocating for survivors’ rights. We know it is not easy for survivors to come forward and fight for their rights. That is why we provide a full list of services for our clients.
- Incident investigation
- Evidence collection
- Identity protection
- Insurance negotiation
- Document preparation
- Claims filing
- Settlement negotiation
- Sexual abuse trial representation
We can take care of all the steps and processes it will take to have your story heard in San Bernardino County. You can focus on spending time with your family and healing while we handle everything else.
What Is School Sexual Abuse? Are You a Victim?
Some incidents of school sexual abuse are immediately recognizable as a sex crime, such as rape or sodomy. Others, however, are more difficult to identify as sexual assault or abuse, especially for a young child. A student may not realize that his or her teacher is crossing a line, for example, or that a sports coach is touching him or her inappropriately during training. Education regarding sexual abuse is one of the first steps toward preventing this crime. School sexual abuse can take many forms, including:
- Touching a student’s private or intimate parts
- Inappropriate kissing, hugging or groping
- Inappropriate massages
- Requests for dates or sexual favors by a teacher
- A teacher taking inappropriate or sexualized photos of a student
- Indecent exposure or public indecency
- Showing a student pornographic images or videos
- Sending a student inappropriate content online
- Verbal sexual abuse or harassment
- Inappropriate remarks, jokes, comments or innuendos
- Sexual assault as a form of bullying or hazing
- Sexual assault by a sports coach
- Sexual assault of a younger student by an older adolescent
Any type of sexual contact or relationship between an adult and a minor is unethical and against the law, as a minor cannot legally give his or her consent to sexual activity in California. School sexual assault may also involve force, violence, threats or intimidation. No matter what type of crime was committed, a survivor has the right to come forward, report the abuse, and file a civil lawsuit against the abuser and/or the school.
San Bernardino County Schools Have a History of Student Sexual Abuse
Student sexual abuse is unfortunately not a new problem in San Bernardino County. Many claims and lawsuits have been brought against teachers, coaches, schools and school districts in San Bernardino over the years. Multiple schools have been held accountable for failing to keep vulnerable students safe from criminals – including cases where teachers and administrators covered up complaints of abuse. Here are a few recent examples of school sexual abuse claims out of San Bernardino:
- Two assistant principals at Carter High School, David Shenhan Yang and Natasha Harris, faced criminal charges in February 2022 for failing to report sexual assault complaints to law enforcement authorities after a 17-year-old male student allegedly assaulted three separate students.
- In January 2022, a Clement Middle School teacher, Joseph Nardella, was arrested for the sexual abuse of a student that began when the victim was 12 years old and continued for about five years. The police believe there may have also been additional victims.
- A lawsuit was brought (by Manly, Stewart & Finaldi) against the San Bernardino City Unified School District in May 2019 regarding sexual abuse allegations against a former teacher, Nicole Kelly, involving a 15-year-old victim. The lawsuit alleged that the school district knew that Kelly had previously victimized other minors but concealed her criminal behavior.
If you were involved in any of these accounts of sexual assault or abuse at a school in San Bernardino, don’t hesitate to contact us for legal advice. We have ample experience going up against public entities such as school districts on behalf of our clients. We were Lead Counsel on the case that set the precedent that allows people to sue public entities in California today, representing a client who had been sexually abused at a school in Los Angeles County. Our law firm has all of the necessary resources and experience to handle your case.
What to Do as a Victim of School Sexual Abuse in San Bernardino
If a teacher, coach, fellow student or someone else sexually assaulted you at school in San Bernardino, tell someone. Start with a trusted friend or family member to help you cope with this significant trauma. Then, go to authorities such as the police and school administrators with your story.
Get medical care for any injuries and obtain a sexual assault forensic exam (if you wish to press charges against the perpetrator). Once you are in a safe place and ready to seek justice in the form of a civil lawsuit, consult with an attorney at Manly, Stewart & Finaldi to discuss your legal options.
What AB-218 Means If You Were a Sexual Assault Survivor While Attending a Public School
AB-218 is a bill recently passed into law in California. It is a groundbreaking law for sexual assault survivors from public schools who now may be able to bring their claims even with a passed statute of limitations. Prior to AB-218, childhood sexual abuse survivors had either 6 or 12 months to file tort claims against public school districts and other government entities in California if the abuse occurred before January 1st, 2009. After the enactment of AB-218, however, survivors who previously missed their deadlines may now be able to file lawsuits.
Seek counsel from the lawyers at Manly, Stewart & Finaldi as soon as possible if you have experienced childhood sexual assault while a student at a public school in San Bernardino County. This county has 573 total schools with thousands of students. Coming forward with your story could hold the school district accountable and potentially bring real change on an institutional level. Our lawyers have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars against school districts for abuse survivors.
At Manly, Stewart & Finaldi, we know clients do not seek our assistance purely for financial compensation. Sexual abuse survivors deserve justice and closure for the harm they suffered. However, we also know how important a financial award could be for an individual and his or her family. We work hard to obtain top compensatory awards for our clients.
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Mental or psychological anguish
- Prescription medications
- Therapy or rehabilitation
- Punitive damages
- Legal costs and attorney’s fees
The amount a school district may owe you for facilitating student sexual abuse could give you a future of financial stability. Our lawyers can accurately evaluate your case and give you an idea of what it might be worth. Then, we can work tirelessly to secure the compensation your losses demand.
Speak to a School Sexual Abuse Lawyer Today
Protecting your rights as a survivor of school sexual abuse in San Bernardino County takes help from an attorney. Hiring a lawyer can take the legal burden off your shoulders and allow you to focus on more important things. An attorney can help you take a stand against the teacher, administrator, school, school district and/or other parties who may have contributed to your harm. Start your case with a free and confidential consultation at Manly, Stewart & Finaldi. Please contact us today.