Choosing the right lawyer to represent you or a loved one in a sexual abuse case can be difficult. Because sexual abuse cases often result in large settlements or jury verdicts, there are many lawyers who advertise for these cases. However, just because a lawyer advertises for a certain type of case does not mean the lawyer is skilled or experienced in handling that type of case. In fact, there are no ethical rules which prohibit a lawyer from advertising that they handle sexual abuse cases even though they have never handled one before. Personal Injury and class actions lawyers often begin to advertise for these types of cases as soon as they read about them in the news. Their strategy sometimes is to sign up as many cases as possible and try to figure out how to the handle the cases, or else ship them off for a referral fee to a lawyer who focuses their practice on representing victims of sexual abuse.
In recent weeks there has been much discussion about a compensation fund that would be set up by the Catholic Church in Pennsylvania to pay victims of child sexual abuse. The idea of the fund comes at a time when the church is under fire by the recent statewide grand jury report. In the report, the grand jury recommended a change in the civil statute of limitations that would revive previously expired claims made by victims of child sexual abuse.
The Pennsylvania attorney general's office will begin a criminal investigation of the Lackawanna County Prison. Several former prisoners have alleged instances of sexual abuse and harassment by staff at the prison, both while they were incarcerated and during work release and probation. They filed a civil lawsuit in 2015 naming 50 people as responsible for the abuse and a subsequent cover-up.
The Sandusky scandal is far from over. Feds recently concluded an investigation that dug into whether or not Penn State followed laws designed to help keep our youth safe while at educational institutions.
Acts of sexual abuse against children are not uncommon. According to the United States Department of Justice's National Sex Offender Public Website, approximately 1.8 million children throughout the country have suffered through sexual abuse. 62,939 cases were reported in 2012 alone.
Attorney Ben Andreozzi was recently interviewed by ABC27 News about the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese Sex Scandal. Follow the link below to read his statements and watch the interview.