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April 2015 Archives

Childhood Sexual Abuse in Foster Care

Yesterday, the El Paso Times reported the harrowing story of the Huertas, two foster parents recently arrested for sexually abusing children under their care. What's worse, the story also details the numerous complaints regarding the Huertas' previous history of sexual abuse, and the inexplicable failure of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services' utter failure to stop them.

"Common Knowledge" Teachers had Sex with Students at Plum High School in Pittsburgh

Several weeks ago, police arrested two teachers at Plum High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for allegedly having sex with students. In Pennsylvania, it is illegal for a teacher to engage in sexual contact with a student, even if the student is 18 years-old. As a result, teachers Jason Cooper and Joseph Ruggieri are charged with institutional sexual assault.

Sexual Abuse at Pennsylvania's Episcopal Academy

A number of former students at Episcopal Academy in suburban Philadelphia have come forward alleging they were sexually abused by Richard Perkins Smith, a former teacher and administrator at the Episcopal Academy in Devon, Pennsylvania. Criminal charges are pending against Richard Perkins Smith in Massachusetts since the alleged assaults occurred in Cape Cod, and a warrant for Smith's arrest has been issued in Pennsylvania. The location of the abuse is significant because it may pave the way for his victims to bring civil claims against the Episcopal Academy using a newly passed Massachusetts law which extends the time in which victims of childhood sexual abuse can bring civil claims. Currently, Pennsylvania law is not as forgiving and may bar similar claims depending upon when the abuse happened. Civil claims may be viable since Smith admitted to abusing a student to the head of the school.

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