Whether they are affiliated with a school, youth organization or civic organization, youth sports teams are vulnerable to pedophiles and other sexual predators. Children on the team can be sexually abused by coaches, volunteers or other players on the team. If your child has been abused or you suffered sexual abuse as a child, our lawyers may be able to help you recover compensation.
Attorney Jeffrey Fritz at Soloff & Zervanos, P.C., is an experienced crime victim lawyer who provided legal counsel to some of the victims in the Penn State/Jerry Sandusky case. He understands the issues involved in child sexual abuse cases and will work to help you and your family through the legal process.
Schedule a free confidential consultation with our attorneys in Philadelphia, Allentown, Lancaster, Reading, Cherry Hill, New Jersey and New York. Please call 215-929-7216.
Laws Meant To Protect Children From Youth Sports Teams Sexual Abuse
Sexual abuse is a form of sexual harassment prohibited by Title IX. Sports teams that are school programs must follow Title IX rules. If the victim is under age 18, schools are required to contact the police. If a sexual assault or rape is reported to a teacher, administrator or coach, he or she may be required to notify the police even if the victim is over age 18.
In addition, states have mandatory reporters who must report suspicions of child abuse to authorities.
- In Pennsylvania, mandatory reporters include school administrators, teachers, school nurses, social services workers, coaches and other child care or foster care workers.
- In New Jersey, anyone with reason to suspect child abuse is mandated to report it.
Anyone at the organization who fails to meet mandatory reporting requirements may be held accountable for abuse.
Negligent Hiring And Supervision
Schools and other organizations should perform thorough background checks on coaches and volunteers. They should also get written and verbal recommendations from references and carefully screen applicants during interviews.
Lack of supervision and failure to screen participants can allow sexual abuse to occur in youth sports. Many youth organizations require the two-adult rule: there must be at least two adults present with children at all times. If an organization does not have guidelines or fails to enforce them, this may be evidence of negligence.