When sexual abuse or harassment is committed by a state actor, such as a teacher or police officer, or a state actor facilitates the abuse or harassment, then the state actor and/or entity can be held liable pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983. In order to prove this, a victim must show that he or she was deprived of a constitutionally protected right by a person or persons who work for local, state, or federal government.
One recognized constitutionally protected right is the right to be free from an unwanted touching, such as when a teacher sexually abuses a student. Another right that is recognized is found in the Equal Protection Clause. In order to pursue a §1983 claim for violation of the Equal Protection Clause, a victim must show that he or she was treated differently than similarly situated individuals based on his or her gender. If this can be proven, then the state entity can be held liable.
Andreozzi + Foote has experience representing survivors of sexual abuse and sexual harassment that are committed or facilitated by state actors. If you or someone you know has fallen victim of sexual assault or sexual harassment by a state actor, and might need a lawyer or simply want some legal guidance, do not hesitate to call our office. We do not charge for phone consultations, and even if we cannot be of assistance we will do everything we can to help point you in the right direction.