History of Sexual Assault In The Girl Scouts (#GotBitcoin?)
Child abuse, or sexual assault, is a very serious crime with strict criminal consequences for the perpetrator. In 2012, a Bellingham, Washington Girl Scout volunteer was sentenced to three years in prison for the sexual abuse of a teenager and asking another minor girl to text nude photos of herself. The defendant, Andre Acosta-Ruiz, was sentenced to 3 years in state prison for the crime. Meanwhile, the Girl Scouts issued a statement assuring the public they are doing everything they can to protect their members from these incidents. History of Sexual Assault In The Girl Scouts
However, a similar story from Kissimmee, Florida suggests there is a pattern of this behavior in the nationwide organization. Eight girls reported that they were molested by their Girl Scouts leader David Wayne Fisher. The girls were between the ages 10-11 at the time and were assaulted during a camping trip to Walt Disney World’s Fort Wilderness resort. Fisher is now serving a 15-year sentence in state prison. Fisher had previously served as a substitute teacher with a local school district but was asked not to return due to inappropriate behavior with the students.
Girl Scouts Abuse Lawyer in Los Angeles, CA
Across California and the nation, Girl Scout chapters, and other youth organizations, maintain clear and firm policies that prohibit any form of child abuse and neglect. The organization also maintains strict reporting policies in the event of a suspected abuse. Any employee or volunteer who believes a child has been the victim of sexual assault or abuse must immediately report the incident to local authorities. Not only is there a criminal element to these cases but there is also a civil element. According to California personal injury law abuse, assault and molestation victims may be entitled to benefits and financial compensation for their injuries, pain, suffering and medical issues (both physical and psychological)
If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual assault by a Girl Scout leader, you have more rights than you may realize in taking legal action. The child assault lawyers at The Cifarelli Law Firm want you to understand your rights and the legal courses of action you can take to seek justice for this heinous crime. Our attorneys serve abuse and injury victims all over California including San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, Sacramento, Los Angeles and San Diego.
Legal Rights of the Victim
From the cases above, you can see that the defendants themselves were not the only ones guilty or responsible for the crime. Both the Girl Scouts organization and the public school district can and should be held responsible for failing to protect the children in their care from sexual predators. In cases like this, there are more legal options available to the victim and/or victims’ family than you may be aware.
These liable parties can and should be held responsible for their negligence. In all crimes involving the sexual assault of a minor, both criminal and civil suits can be filed. In fact, you do not have to wait for the verdict from the criminal trial to file a civil suit. In addition to seeking criminal justice, you can file an action against any person or organization that was mandated to report the abuse but failed to do so. Filing a civil action allows you to receive compensation for emotional distress and physical pain, as well as medical expenses and psychiatric care. The attacker is considered liable for the abuse even if the minor consented to the sexual act.
Child abuse causes undue emotional, physical and mental damage to both the victim and victim’s family. Do not let the parties involved in this horrible crime walk away without facing the consequences of their actions, or lack thereof. Instead, consult an experienced personal injury attorney to review the details of your case. We can use our years of experience in these cases to help you achieve the justice you deserve on behalf of your child.
Contact our Los Angeles Law Firm at (949) 502-8600 for more information about the compensation you can receive on behalf of your child by filing a personal injury lawsuit against the perpetrator. If your case is successful, your child can receive a judgment for emotional distress, pain and suffering, in addition to medical and psychiatric expenses.
Pedophile Doctor Could Get U.S. Pension of More Than $1.8 Million While in Prison
Stanley Patrick Weber, who worked at Indian Health Service hospitals, is serving 18-year prison term for sexually abusing boys on Montana reservation.
A U.S. government pediatrician convicted of sexually abusing Native American boys under his care is still receiving his government pension, officials said, and records indicate he is due more than $1.8 million during his prison term.
The government likely can’t stop the pension payments to Stanley Patrick Weber, unless Congress changes federal law.
Mr. Weber worked at federal Indian Health Service hospitals for about 30 years. He was convicted in September of sexually abusing two boys on a reservation in Montana and faces another trial over allegations he sexually assaulted four more in South Dakota. The abuse occurred while the pedophile doctor was on duty at the government hospitals or in his government-provided homes. He has appealed his conviction and pleaded not guilty ahead of the other trial.
Officials who oversaw Mr. Weber transferred him from one reservation to another when complaints about his conduct arose and ignored repeated warnings from whistleblowers, according to a recent investigation by The Wall Street Journal and the PBS series Frontline. On Tuesday, the Trump administration said it would convene a task force of law enforcement and other government officials to examine why the IHS failed to stop Mr. Weber and how better to protect Native American children under the care of the health agency.
Now, government officials are poised to continue paying him his retirement package whether they like it or not, they said.
A federal judge in January sentenced Mr. Weber to 18 years and 4 months in prison. If he serves the full term, the government would pay him around $1.8 million during his incarceration, not including the impact of any future cost-of-living adjustments that can increase pension pay.
Mr. Weber, who is 70 years old, is now collecting an annual pension he is due to receive for life as a former captain in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. It is now worth about $100,000 a year, according to an estimate by the Journal and Frontline. The estimate is based on a review of military pay tables and information about Mr. Weber obtained in public-records requests. Military-pension experts and officials familiar with the former pediatrician’s career reviewed the calculations.
The Public Health Service provides a pipeline of doctors, nurses and other professionals to its sister agencies within the government, including the IHS. Its commissioned officers wear military-style dress uniforms and share a system of ranks with the U.S. Navy.
Mr. Weber retired from the Public Health Service at the end of 2011 after 25 years, personnel records show. That came on top of a prior stint in the Army for a combined 30 years of active duty. He continued working for the IHS as a civilian employee until 2016, civilian payroll records show.
“Since Dr. Weber was convicted in September 2018, the Commissioned Corps has been in frequent contact with HHS Office of the General Counsel to determine what actions, if any, could be taken to stop him from receiving his retirement pay,” said a spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services, which runs both the IHS and Public Health Service.
“This is a unique complex situation,” the statement said. “Nonetheless HHS is looking in every corner of relevant existing laws and policies to determine what possible options may be available.”
An IHS official said meetings about stopping Mr. Weber’s pension began the day after he was convicted.
While the government can cut off pensions when current military or other uniformed employees like Public Health Service officers are convicted of crimes, the options are much more limited when misconduct comes to light only after a retirement, military lawyers say.
Under such circumstances, “no misconduct short of one thing, treason, can result in the forfeiture of a pension,” said Mark Sullivan, a North Carolina-based family lawyer and former Army Reserve colonel. “Atrocities are not a reason for forfeiture,” he said.
Mr. Weber has a net worth of more than $1 million as of late last year, in addition to his pension, according to prosecutors. His defense attorney is Harvey Steinberg, a top Denver lawyer who is known for defending sports stars including National Football League players.
Mr. Steinberg and an associate didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Mr. Weber is in custody in the county jail in Rapid City, S.D.
Public Health Service personnel, along with the Indian Health Service’s civilian managers, oversaw Mr. Weber at key times in his career. One superior in his chain of command when the government investigated him in 2009 was Ron Keats, a Public Health Service captain. Mr. Weber was cleared during the probe. However, about a year later, federal agents confiscated thousands of images of child pornography from Mr. Keats. He was subsequently convicted on related charges.
In that case, the Public Health Service has so far avoided paying Mr. Keats’s pension. Officials denied Mr. Keats’s request for voluntary retirement after the child pornography was discovered, and declared him “absent without leave” after he was incarcerated, according to a health department memo from the time. Health officials later cited his AWOL status as a reason to terminate his commission and deny retirement benefits.
Mr. Keats, 61, sued the U.S. government in an effort to recover his pension. The case is pending.
“There’s no regulation in the Public Health Service that gives them any authority to withhold their pension,” said Mr. Keats’s lawyer, Jim Klimaski. “There just isn’t any law.”
The Department of Health and Human Services declined to comment on the number of pensions the Public Health Service has withheld.
Lawmakers in recent years have put forward several proposals to limit pension payments to federal employees implicated in misconduct, but have gained little traction, said Jason Briefel, director of government affairs at employment-law firm Shaw Bransford & Roth.
One exception, Mr. Briefel said, is a 2017 law that empowers the Department of Veterans Affairs to claw back a portion of VA employees’ pensions when they subsequently are convicted of felonies related to their work. But it doesn’t apply to other branches of the government. A 1950s-era law gives the government the ability to recoup pensions of retirees involved in some national-security related crimes.
The Public Health Service shares its pension system with the military. A person of Mr. Weber’s rank history and 30-year tenure earned about $10,000 a month in base pay in 2011. Someone retiring under those circumstances would get 75% of that as their starting pension. Retirees can get annual cost-of-living increases to their pensions on top of that. Military physicians also receive incentive pay and bonus pay that makes their incomes more competitive with civilian workers, but isn’t factored into pension calculations.
Curt Sheldon, a retired Air Force pilot and financial planner, said a client with a similar service history who recently retired also received a roughly $100,000 pension. Various factors could alter the final math, he said, but “it may change a few dollars one way or the other.”
Marion Four Horns, the mother of a man Mr. Weber was convicted of assaulting as an 11-year old boy in the mid-1990s in Montana, said she was angered that the former pediatrician continued to receive a pension. “I don’t feel like Weber has paid enough for all the kids he has traumatized,” Ms. Four Horns said. “And now he’s getting money?”
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