Child sexual abuse is one of the worst crimes a person can commit, and for parents in Philadelphia and elsewhere, the thought of their child being victimized in such a way is unbearable. Unfortunately, sometimes authority figures for children — like teachers, priests or coaches — abuse their power by taking advantage of the children that look up to them.
Some Philadelphia residents may have read about the child sexual abuse trial of a former yeshiva teacher. The 36-year-old Pennsylvania man who worked as a camp counselor was accused of sexually abusing a young boy after the boy told his father what happened. Although the man initially denied the allegations, he changed his plea to guilty during his trial yesterday.
The rabbi was charged with attempted aggravated sex assault, aggravated sexual assault, child endangerment and sexual assault. Although the maximum penalty this man could face is 50 years in prison, the judge said it’s likely he will sentence the man to 15 years.
It is very fortunate that the young boy and his father spoke up about the abuse. Many young children are afraid to tell anyone about ongoing abuse because they are afraid of what an abuser might do. And while those convicted of child sexual assault often face harsh penalties, families of abuse victims should know that there are ways to hold an offender further accountable.
By filing a civil lawsuit against an offender, families can seek compensation for the damage the individual caused to a child. For some families, a successful civil lawsuit leaves them knowing that justice has been fully served.
Source: NBC Philadelphia, “Ex-Yeshiva Teacher Admits to Sexually Assaulting Boy,” Katie Zezima, May 13, 2013