YMCA Sued After Teen Is Sexually Assaulted Multiple Times
A New York YMCA is facing a negligent security lawsuit filed by a teenage girl and her twin sister claiming that they were sexually assaulted on the property numerous times by a teenage boy. The 15-year-old boy pleaded guilty to one count of sexual assault meaning that the plaintiffs will not have to establish the fact of the assault or the element of consent during their trial. The guilty verdict means that the YMCA will have to defend itself on the grounds of premises liability negligence which will be difficult to do in this case as it often is when children or teenagers are involved. In this article, we’ll discuss the lawsuit and its likely outcome.
What are the facts?
The plaintiff claims that she and her half-sister were repeatedly sexually assaulted by the same boy at the YMCA. They further allege that the YMCA did nothing to supervise the children on their property. In this case, it resulted in multiple sexual assaults, a boy going to prison, the director of the facility resigning in disgrace, and the ultimate closure of the facility altogether.
Negligent security lawsuits can be difficult to win for adult plaintiffs because they need to prove that the establishment had cause for concern. This is generally established by referencing assaults that occurred on the property and the need for added security. Nonetheless, there is always a question of whether the plaintiff contributed to the altercation that broke out and caused their injury. In this case, the plaintiffs will be able to proceed without proving any of that.
Why? Well, firstly, they’ve established that the boy is guilty of criminal sexual assault. The only thing they need to establish next is that the teenagers should have been supervised on their property. This will not be difficult to establish because those working around children have a duty of care to ensure that they are supervised. In this case, they were not and a child was assaulted as a result of their failure. Secondly, they will not be able to claim that the child consented to the sexual contact because the criminal trial resulted in an adjudication of guilt.
Lastly, while New York has strong rape shield laws, they do not apply to civil cases. So, ostensibly, the YMCA could grill the female victim on her previous sexual encounters and discuss the amount of harm a rape would cause to a promiscuous child, but that is very old-school and plays poorly with modern juries, especially where children are concerned.
So, this particular YMCA is dead to rights, as they say. They don’t have a defense to the allegations and will likely have to pay the family a lot of money for exposing her to a violent criminal without supervision.
Talk to a Miami Personal Injury Attorney Today
Payer Law represents the interests of injured parties in premises liability claims. Call our Miami personal injury lawyers today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.