Was Your Child Sexually Abused at Daycare?

Thousands of families rely on daycares to keep their children safe while the parents are at work. Most of these daycare facilities have a caring and responsible staff to keep kids safe and happy. However, some facilities have reported incidents of child sexual abuse. If your child has been sexually abused at daycare, you may feel helpless and angry. The attorneys at Farmer, Jaffe, Weissing, Edwards, Fistos & Lehrman can help you go after those responsible for harming your child.

Call us today to schedule a free consultation: 954-524-2820.

What is child sexual abuse?

Any sexual behavior between an adult and a child is child sexual abuse. Some of these behaviors may include:

  • Sexual touching
  • Exposing oneself to a child
  • Intercourse
  • Obscene phone calls or messages
  • Producing or sharing pornographic images of children
  • Other forms of sexual conduct

Signs of Sexual Abuse Among Children

Unlike adults, children may not be able to articulate sexual assault or abuse. That is why adults need to know how child victims of sexual abuse behave and speak. Some of the more common signs to look for include:

  • Increased temper and other behavioral changes
  • Torn or bloodstained clothing
  • Coming home in different clothing
  • Acting unusually fearful or certain people or places
  • Difficulty moving (e.g., sitting, standing, walking, etc.)
  • Increase in nightmares or night terrors
  • Bedwetting
  • Sudden interest in sex

These behaviors may indicate sexual abuse or something else entirely. Parents and other adults should pay close attention to the child’s behavior.

What should I do if a daycare employee has sexually assaulted my child?

If a daycare employee has sexually abused your child, you should take him/her to the doctor immediately. Do not bathe the child or change his/her clothes. Hospitals will conduct a full examination of the child and will have a better chance of collecting evidence of the crime if the child is in the same condition s/he was in when s/he first came home that day.

Once the hospital has treated your child, you will need to report the incident to the appropriate authorities. You will also need to file a report with the daycare detailing the abuse. For more about what to do to protect your child, click here.

Once you have taken your child to the doctor and ensured his/her safety, discuss your case with our team. We will protect your child, hold the abuser accountable, and ensure you get the justice you and your child deserve.

Criminal vs. Civil Court

Sexual abuse of a child is a crime in all 50 states. Daycare workers charged with sexual assault of a minor or any related crimes will face criminal charges. If the court convicts the person, s/he will face criminal sentencing likely resulting in jail time and other serious consequences.

In addition to criminal charges, daycare workers may also face a civil claim filed by the parents of the abused child. If the claim is successful, the worker will likely have to pay the parents damages for the injuries they caused.

Who is at fault?

If you decide to file a civil claim, we need to determine who is at fault for the incident. Many parents’ first instinct is to put all responsibility on the person who abused the child. However, if there is child sexual abuse occurring at a daycare facility, the daycare may also be liable for any child abuse that occurs on the property.

The Sexually Abusive Worker

The worker who sexually abused the child is at-fault for the child’s physical and emotional injuries and will be your primary defendant in the claim.

The Daycare

Daycares must implement policies, vet all potential employees, and ensure they meet certain criteria. The daycare should also have a protocol in place to handle reports of abuse. Failure to create or enforce policies relating to abuse is negligence.

In some cases, the abuser may be a parent, an untrained visitor, or even another child. In these cases, the daycare will also likely be liable, in addition to the abuser or abuser’s parent.

Our team will use our years of experience to investigate your case and find all responsible parties.

For what will I hold the daycare or employee liable?

It can be difficult to prove child abuse as there are often multiple potential causes of action in a single child sexual abuse claim. Many of these claims name assault, battery, and infliction of emotional distress. You might also list negligent hiring if you can prove the daycare should have known about the daycare worker’s potential for abuse.

In order for your civil claim to be successful, we will have to prove one or more of the above causes of action according to the preponderance of the evidence standard. This standard is not as strict as the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard used in criminal court. This means that a person found not guilty in criminal court can still be liable in a civil claim. Our team will gather all necessary evidence and present the best case to the court to help protect your child and others from dangerous predators.

What damages can I recover?

The types of recoverable damages will depend on who is filing the claim. If the victim sues (represented by a parent), s/he can recover damages for the physical and emotional harm s/he suffered as a result of the abuse.

If the parents sue, they can recover damages for their emotional trauma and any other harm they suffered because of what happened to their child. These damages can cover medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other costs.

Where can I get help with claim?

Daycares are responsible for protecting your children and making sure that your child has a safe place to go while you are at work. Tragically, some children are sexually abused while in the care of these so-called professionals. These horrific crimes may have a huge impact on the child and his or her family for years to come.

We will not let the person(s) responsible for harming your child get away with it. We will work tirelessly to determine and prove liability and build a compelling case for you.

Let us be your path to justice. Call us today to schedule a free consultation with our sexual assault and child molestation lawyers: 954-524-2820.