Category Archives: Child Abuse

Rodriguez & Associates Files Sexual Assault Lawsuit Against Kern High School District

Friday, September 3, 2021

Rodriguez & Associates has filed a lawsuit against the Kern High School District on behalf of a minor who was sexually assaulted at school in 2019.

The victim we are representing was allegedly sexually assaulted in the classroom while class was going on.

Daniel Rodriguez was interviewed by ABC News Bakersfield saying that this is an unusual case, as most sexual assault crimes occur in secluded places. The person accused, who is also a minor, has a pattern of assaulting girls at the school.

Rodriguez told ABC News Bakersfield that:

“Our information is that the teacher in our case is no more than 10-15 feet away,” said Rodriguez. “Apparently, the assailant had a history of this. We say this because even though we are in the early stage of this court process, we found out that there were three other victims in addition to the girl we represent.”

The incident happened in November of 2019. The purpose of the lawsuit is to hold the district accountable and get answers.

Rodriguez says the training that teachers and staff get in trying to prevent these kinds of incidents or be aware of them is not good enough. Due diligence would include the school district catching the pattern of harmful behavior.

He hopes bringing awareness to this issue will help make schools a safer place for kids.

“The question becomes, how or why did the school district or the high school ignore it,” asked Rodriguez. “They either knew it, it’s hard to believe they didn’t know about the history, or at the very least, they should have known had they been doing their due diligence.”

If you suspect your child has been the victim of sex abuse while at school or in the care of educators, contact our Bakersfield personal injury attorneys. We have experience handling child molestation, sexual assault, and sexual abuse cases involving teachers, daycare staff, coaches, and other school workers. We are here to help and are adamant about protecting children throughout Kern County. Contact us to discuss your case and receive support by filling out our online form or calling (661) 323-1400.

Posted by Lorrie Ross at 2:25 pm

Do I Need a Lawyer? Signs of Child Sex Abuse at School

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Child sexual abuse is a serious crime that can have devastating and lifelong consequences for the victim, and it is on the rise in many education settings. Data cited recently by The Washington Post shows that reports of sexual assault at elementary schools and middle and high schools increased more than 50 percent between the years 2015 and 2018, the most recent year for data.

These reports of sexual assault rose from 9,600 in the 2015-2016 school year to nearly 15,000 in the 2017-2018 school year.

No child should have to go to school in an unsafe environment where this kind of abuse is a danger. Therefore, it is important for parents, teachers, guidance counselors, coaches, and other adults to know how to spot the signs of child sex abuse so they can, if necessary, intervene.

The CDC recognizes child sexual abuse as a public health problem, classifying it as an “adverse childhood experience (ACE) that “can affect how a person thinks, acts, and feels over a lifetime, resulting in short- and long-term physical and mental/emotional health consequences.” For example, RAINN notes that victims of child sexual abuse are roughly four times more likely to develop symptoms of drug abuse and to experience PTSD or major depressive episodes as adults.

The bottom line is that a child cannot consent to any form of sexual activity, and any adult engaging in such behavior with a minor, including teachers, coaches, and other school staff, is committing a crime.

Signs of child sexual abuse may be physical, emotional, behavioral, or a combination of all three. While it is not always easy to spot a case of child sexual abuse, some common signs include:

  • Sexually transmitted diseases or infections
  • Physical trauma in the genital area
  • Not wanting to be left alone with certain people
  • Not wanting to change clothing or bathe
  • Regressive behaviors such as thumbsucking or bedwetting
  • Sexual behavior that is inappropriate for the child’s age
  • Decrease in confidence or self-image
  • Excessive talk about sexual topics
  • Talk about a new adult “friend”
  • Mood swings (e.g., increased aggression)
  • Self-harming behavior
  • Changes in appetite
  • Excessive worry or fearfulness

These are only a handful of signs to look for if you suspect a child is the victim of sex abuse. It is highly important to note any sudden changes in behavior from the child and to report suspicious cases and situations. 

If you suspect your child has been the victim of sex abuse while at school or in the care of educators, you are not alone. Our Bakersfield personal injury attorneys have experience handling child molestation, sexual assault and sexual abuse cases involving teachers, daycare staff, coaches, and other school workers. We are here to help. Please reach out to us today to discuss your case and receive support by filling out our online form or calling (661) 323-1400.

Posted by Lorrie Ross at 7:40 pm

Things to Know When You Are Hiring a Child Abuse Lawyer

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Child abuse cases are psychologically and emotionally upsetting for everyone involved. That is especially true for the plaintiff — the person or family filing the case against the defendant. Finding the right attorney in a child abuse case is critical to ensuring that these people get the care and support they need throughout the legal process.

The Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act defines child abuse and neglect as: “Any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker, which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation” or “An act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm.” In California, child abuse can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor depending on the nature of the offense and the defendant’s criminal history.

Examples of child abuse can include (but are not limited to) physical abuse such as punching or kicking, sexual abuse, emotional/psychological abuse, and neglect. Nor is child abuse limited to individuals within the immediate family. Sadly, children are often victims of abuse by teachers, coaches, health care providers, religious leaders, and daycare workers, to name a few.

When looking for a child abuse attorney, the goal should be to find someone with experience handling child abuse cases as well as a deep understanding of how legally complex and emotionally charged cases this area of personal injury litigation can get.

Some things to keep in mind when looking for a child abuse attorney include:

Experience: Your chosen attorney should have past experience successfully representing child abuse cases. If it is a child sexual abuse case, the attorney needs experience in that specific area, as it’s often an even more delicate and complex matter.

Understanding: Child abuse cases are full of details and nuances that can quickly become overwhelming to the average person. As the California Department of Education points out, “Child abuse is more than bruises and broken bones.” Not all child abuse is obvious, but all of it is extremely harmful. Any attorney working on a case needs to know what exactly constitutes child abuse, even if the evidence is not immediately clear.

Support: As noted above, child abuse and neglect cases are full of emotions for the plaintiff and their family members involved. You will need an attorney that understands the range of emotions a family can go through when dealing with such a case. This person should be able to provide emotional support as well as legal expertise when it comes to official case-related happenings, such as a deposition.

Every child deserves to be safe no matter where they are. If you suspect a member of your family is the victim of child abuse, do not hesitate to reach out for support and assistance. Rodriguez & Associates has a long record of success when it comes to defending the safety of children. You can reach us by filling out our online form or calling (661) 323-1400.

Posted by Lorrie Ross at 9:00 pm