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Negligent Security Seminar | March 2015

Florida personal injury lawyers



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    Child sexual assault – $287,000 settlement – boy fondled by employer

    Child sexual assault is a serious problem that requires immediate attention.

    A young boy working an after school job was sexually molested by the manager of the store where he was working.  The employer failed to perform a reasonable background investigation.  John Elliott Leighton proved that the employer should never have allowed the manager access to young boys without supervision.  A confidential settlement of $287,000 was obtained which provided funds for therapy and education.

    Child sexual assault - boy fondeled
    Image for illustration purposes only

    In this particular case, the manager was placed in a position of supervision over adolescent boys, taking them off the store premises to put coupons on doors of apartment complexes.  After doing this several times, he took our client back to his apartment. He then proceeded to engage the 13 year-old boy in the use of drugs and pornography, during which he sexually assaulted him.

    A reasonable investigation into the background of this manager would have revealed that he had been previously incarcerated for lewd and lascivious conduct with a minor in another state.  He was released from prison and came to Florida, where he got a job at this restaurant.  Over time he was placed in charge of young boys to place coupons.  Nobody supervised this “manager” while he was taking these boys off the property.

    The long-term consequences of childhood sexual abuse were expose din this sad case. Years after the case was concluded, our client’s son committed suicide after years of drug and alcohol addiction.  Unfortunately this is one of the known effects of child sexual abuse.  Without strong laws favoring victims of these crimes, perpetrators get away with abuse for many years.  Most abusers have multiple victims over their lifetimes and continue to abuse even after they are caught.  They are often never identified because so much time passes between the time of abuse and when the victim comes forward and reveals what happened.  Fear, shame and self-doubt all play roles in the delay of disclosure.

    Leighton Panoff Law fights for children who have been sexually assaulted and sexually abused wherever it happens.

    Sadly, the frequency of child sexual abuse is much higher than most people realize.

    A 2010 study by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Children’s Bureau found that over 9% of all children are victimized by sexual assault. Others studying the problem have found startling statistics:

    • 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys are sexually abused as children
    • During a one-year period in the U.S., 16% of youth ages 14 to 17 had been sexually victimized

    Children are most vulnerable when they are between the ages of 7 and 13, but sexual abuse occurs at all ages and even upon infants.

    Children who have been sexually victimized have much higher rates of addiction, substance abuse and other destructive behaviors, including eating disorders.  It can affect all aspects of a child’s life and through adolescence and adulthood. Choices made in partners, intimacy, marriage, employment and parenting can all be a result of child sex abuse.

    Leighton Panoff Law’s John Leighton has been fighting for survivors of child sex abuse for over 33 years.  He continues this fight as a charter member and now President-elect of the National Crime Victim Bar Association.  The Association includes hundreds of skilled trial lawyers around the country dedicated to representing victims of child sex abuse, including clergy abuse, employers, acquaintance abuse and others.


    Disclaimer: The information about past verdicts and settlements of the firm’s cases are based on the unique facts of each case. These amounts reflect the gross recovery in each case (before attorneys fees, expenses and medical costs are deducted). Although these results were obtained by our firm, they may not indicate the success or value of any other case. By clicking on Verdicts and Settlements you are acknowledging that each case is unique and must be evaluated on its own merits. The information contained here has not been reviewed or approved by The Florida Bar.


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