If your son or daughter has been the victim of sexual abuse through a wrongful or illegal teacher-student relationship, the Phoenix teacher sexual abuse attorneys at Begam Marks & Traulsen, P.A. help.
These relationships are wrongful and damaging. Both teachers and the employing school districts must be held fully accountable for their full share of legal liability.
Teacher-Student Sexual Relationships Are Illegal
Teachers have a special, trusted, and authoritative role in our society. In addition to their role as educators, many teachers are often seen by students as much like a second parent, probably more so by students coming from broken homes where a teacher pays special attention to them.
This unique role gives teachers power over students – including, in some cases, the power to engage in wrongful sexual relationships.
Sexual relationships between teachers and students in high school or middle school are wrong. If sex is involved, in Arizona, such sex is considered statutory rape if the victim is under 18 and the teacher is over 19, even if the sex is consensual.
We Seek Justice and Full Compensation for Abused Students
If your son or daughter was involved in a sexual relationship with a teacher, they have been hurt enough without having their name spread through the media. We will, to the extent possible, seek anonymity for your son or daughter in any actions that may be brought; however, this is not always possible, particularly in legal proceedings.
We take our direction from you. If you are the parent, you may or may not want to press charges for criminal prosecution. Your objectives may be to see the teacher terminated. You may additionally seek full compensation for all damages sustained.
We work on behalf of you and your son or daughter. We will meet with you for a free, no-obligation consultation so that we may learn about your case. At this time, once we understand the facts and circumstances of your case, we can advise how we can help, and the legal possibilities for your case. We are available to represent clients in inappropriate and sexual teacher-student sexual relationships in the Phoenix area (including Tempe, Mesa, Scottsdale, and Glendale) and throughout the State of Arizona.
Arizona Statute of Limitations for Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse
Governor Doug Ducey signed H.B. 2466 on May 27, 2019. H.B. 2466 strengthens protections for survivors who were sexually abused as minors. Highlights of the bill include:
- An adult who was injured as a minor by sexual conduct or contact has a window from now until December 30, 2020, to bring suit against the perpetrator. The survivor may also bring a suit against a person who had a mandatory duty to report the abuse but failed to do so.
- The statute of limitations is extended from 2 years to 12 years after December 30, 2020. This allows survivors of child sexual abuse to pursue justice up to the age of 30.
Statistics for Teacher-Student Sexual Abuse Cases
Teacher sexual abuse seems to be rising. Firm Drive West Communications, a company operated by Terry Abbott (former Chief of Staff at the U.S. Department of Education), reports receiving 15 new reports of sexual victimization on average every week. In Texas, the state with the most reported cases of alleged inappropriate teacher-student relationships, the number of investigations grew 27% between 2011 and 2014.
In an investigation, the Associated Press found that 2,570 educators had teaching credentials revoked, denied, surrendered, or sanctioned from 2001 through 2005 following allegations of sexual misconduct. Moreover, whereas in the past nearly all cases of sexual misconduct involved a male teacher, female teachers are now much more likely to be the sexual predator than in the past.
It’s not clear whether cell phones, the Internet, and social media (such as Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat) are directly responsible for the apparent increase in the number of inappropriate teacher-student relationships, but it clear that these forms of communication, which did not exist two decades ago, are now often being used by abusers.
What Types of Conduct are Often Involved in Teacher-Student Relationships?
Wrongful teacher-student relationships consist of conduct that crosses the line in terms of a teacher’s normal professional responsibilities. Conduct that should raise serious concerns usually includes:
- Texting and e-mails that are not related to classroom assignments, particularly pictures
- Visiting with students at unusual places in which teacher-student conversations generally do not take place, such as a teacher’s house
- Phone calls between teachers and students
Your Rights to Seek Compensation
If your son or daughter was involved in a sexual relationship with a teacher while in high school or younger, contact the police. You should also seek to preserve all evidence, such as text messages, e-mails, and personal notes.
A Phoenix personal injury lawyer at Begam Marks & Traulsen, P.A. can identify other legal options that may be available for you. We offer a free initial consultation, and there are no fees for our services unless you recover compensation.