Articles Posted in Childhood Sexual Abuse

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Kane County prosecutors have filed charges against Stephen P. Orland, a band teacher at West Aurora High. Orland, who had been teaching at the high school for 19 years, was suspended last May after charges were announced stemming from allegations of sexual abuse.

According to court documents filed by prosecutors, The teacher was confronted by the school’s superintendant after a janitor reported seeing him hugging a female student in the band room. The janitor also stated that the teacher ran away immediately after seeing the janitor. The documents filed also allege that following this incident the district superintendent warned Orland that he could be fired if found alone with a female student.

Kane County authorities also allege that Orland engaged in sexual acts with female students on school grounds. In Illinois, there are circumstances where employers, such as schools, may be held liable for sexual abuse committed by their employees. In those types of cases it is important to determine whether the employer knew or reasonable should have known of similar allegations of sexual abuse by its employee or of potential danger of such abuse, but continued to employ that person or allow him or her access to children.

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Illinois Governor, Pat Quinn signed legislation this week that limits a convicted sex offender’s ability to have contact with children that were conceived as a result of sexual abuse. The law protects those children by blocking the convicted sex offender father from any proceedings in child protection cases. The new rule also prevents the convicted sex offender father from receiving access to the victim or court appointed counsel in those cases. The law does not relieve the offender of his obligation to pay child support. Other states, including New York and New Jersey have similar measures in place.

To speak to an experienced child sexual abuse lawyer at the Klest Injury Law Firm, click here, or dial 866-264-7639 for a free consultation.

© Joseph G. Klest, 2011.

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A Waukegan, IL, preacher was sentenced to 18 years in prison today for allegedly sexually assaulting a minor. The preacher, 59 year-old Kevin Eubanks, reportedly signed a typed statement at the Waukegan Police Department which confessed to the sexual abuse. He was convicted on April 28, 2011, of fondling an 11 year old girl on two separate occasions in August of 2008. He has reportedly been in custody since his arrest in July of 2009.

Eubanks worked as a pastor at Baptist churches in both North Chicago, IL, and Zion, IL. The prosecution asked for a sentence of 23 years for Eubanks. Both the sexual abuse victim and her mother testified at trial. According to reports, the victim testified during the April trial against Eubanks reporting that he told her to remain quiet about the sexual abuse. Her mother sobbed as she described her daughter’s coming forward and her confrontation with Eubanks. She testified that Eubanks swore on a Bible that he did not touch the minor girl. Defense attorneys for Eubanks asked the judge to consider the fact that Eubanks had a relatively clean criminal record in sentencing. Eubanks’s attorney will reportedly appeal the conviction.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual abuse, you should speak with an Illinois personal injury attorney to assess a potential claim. To speak with an experienced sexual abuse lawyer, please click here.

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A south suburban youth coach and teacher has been charged with childhood sexual abuse. The accused, 24 year old Darrell Stephenson of Crest Hill, IL, was charged on Monday with three counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse – a class two felony that carries at least three years of incarceration. Stephenson was arrested last Friday and his bail has reportedly been set at $750,000.00. The charges stem from alleged sexual contact with a twelve year old boy.

Stephenson had been a boys’ volleyball coach at Plainfield Central High School in 2007 and 2008 and a student teacher at Aux Sable Middle School in 2008 and 2009. Stephenson was also reportedly a soccer coach in south suburban Frankfort, Joliet and Plainfield. In this capacity, he had recently coached soccer programs in Frankfort, Joliet, and Plainfield areas. Most of the soccer coaching was done through the Christian Youth Soccer League in Joliet, IL. The Will County Sheriff’s Office has not disclosed whether the alleged sexual abuse victim was involved in the youth soccer league or not. Police are still investigating whether Stephenson had any other inappropriate sexual conduct with minors. Citizens with any information regarding these or any other sexual abuse allegations are urged to contact police at (815) 727-8574.

If you have been the victim of sexual abuse and would like to speak to a Chicago area injury lawyer with over twenty nine years handling civil sexual abuse cases, please click here.

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A former Chicago school teacher has been charged with childhood sexual abuse for allegedly assaulting four different former students at a Northwest side school. The teacher. 34 year old Eliza Marinelli, now faces four counts of criminal sexual assault. Bail for Martinelli has reportedly been set at 1.5 million dollars. Chicago Police have indicated that the crimes were not reported until April of this year. Her brother, 27 year old Nelson Quintana, has also been charged with one count of misdemeanor criminal sexual abuse involving another student.

The acts of childhood sexual abuse allegedly occurred from 1998 through 2007 while Martinelli was a teacher at the Dayspring Christian Academy at 5133 W. Fullerton Ave. All of the alleged victims were students of the Dayspring Academy and members of the neighboring Dayspring Church where Martinelli’s father is a pastor. Her father is reportedly listed as the principal on the school’s online directory. The alleged sexual abuse victims include a 15 year old girl whom she is accused of abusing from 1998 through 2001, a 15 year old girl and her brother whom she is accused of abusing for about a year beginning in March of 2003, and a 14 year old girl who was a student of Martinelli in both 6th and 8th grades whom she is accused of abusing up through March of 2007. Martinelli has been accused of telling sexy stories, plying teens with alcohol, and performing sexual acts on the victims.

Victims of childhood sexual abuse can often bring civil claims even when the abuse occurred years ago. To speak with an experienced Chicago sexual abuse attorney, please click here.

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The Klest Law Firm set a milestone victory for sexual abuse victims this week when they received a 28 million dollar verdict in the matter of Snyder v. Kenny. The verdict represents the largest civil sexual abuse verdict in Illinois history and is among the largest in the country. The jury verdict was returned on Tuesday afternoon at the Daley Center after about two hours of deliberation. The jury awarded Snyder seven million in compensatory damages and 21 million in punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended to punish a wrongdoer and also deter others from similar conduct.

It was a very emotional scene as Larry Snyder took the stand and chronicled over four years of graphic and disturbing sexual abuse. He testified that he was molested at least three times a week over the course of four years. He eventually dropped out of high school and came to live with the sexual abuser for almost a year. His life continued to spiral downwards as he became addicted to heroin. The verdict is a testament to the strength of Larry Snyder and the jury’s desire to expose and punish the man that tormented him as a child. The verdict also sends a message to the broader community that childhood sexual abuse will not be tolerated.

If you have any questions about the record setting verdict or would otherwise like to speak with the Klest Law Firm, please click here.

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A Fairfield, IL, gym teacher has been terminated on the heels of allegations that she had an inappropriate sexual relationship with a student. The teacher, 29 year old Haven A. Kirkpatrick of Carmi, IL, was a tenured physical education teacher at Fairfield Community High School. According to reports, the teacher is accused of having unlawful sexual contact with a student at the High School. She has been suspended with pay since her arrest in July on eight felony counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. A circuit court judge found probable cause to bind Kirkpatrick over to trial on the sexual abuse charges in February. A pre-trial hearing on the felony sexual abuse charges has been set for May 11th at the Wayne County Circuit Court. The accused teacher is facing three to seven years in prison on each of the eight counts.

The Fairfield Community High School Board voted unanimously to fire the tenured teacher on Tuesday night at a specially called meeting. The meeting was reportedly called after Illinois DCFS released its findings relative to the abuse allegations. DCFS officials in Chicago have confirmed that an official sexual abuse finding was made in February and that Kirkpatrick has been placed on an internal sex offender registry list. The list is accessible to schools and other organizations that hire individuals that are in direct contact with young children. Kirkpatrick still has the right to request a hearing through the State Board of Education.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual abuse, you should contact a lawyer immediately to investigate the matter and protect your rights. To speak with an Illinois sexual abuse victims’ rights lawyer, please click here.

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Federal prosecutors have asked a northern Indiana child porn convict who is currently serving an 11 year sentence on child pornography charges to pay almost $1 million dollars in restitution to one of his victims. The convicted felon, Mark Ontiveros, now faces a restitution request of $984,000.00 filed this Tuesday at a federal court in Hammond, IN. The requested funds are intended to help the child pornography victim cover costs of future counseling, educational, vocational counseling, lost earnings, and litigation and attorneys fees. The Times of Munster newspaper has reported that Ontiveros has already paid $236,000.00 in restitution to the child pornography victim.

Ontiveros was sentenced last week to eleven years in prison on the heels of a conviction for possessing and receiving more than 1,000 images of child pornography. Some of the child pornography victims were as young as four years old. Only information related to the restitution of one victim has been released to date.

If you have been the victim of child pornography, there may be avenues of civil recovery available to you. You may be entitled to monetary damages even if the abuser has been criminally convicted. To find out more about child pornography victims’ rights or to speak with an attorney, please click here.

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An enormous international child pornography ring was busted earlier this week by European authorities. The international police initiative identified nearly 670 suspects and about 230 child pornography victims in thirty countries. The international pedophile ring itself is thought to be the world’s largest with more 70,000 members. Reports have indicated that 184 suspects have been arrested so far including teachers, police officers, and scout leaders. Most of the detained individuals have been accused of directly abusing children. The police action was spearheaded by a European police agency called Europol as part of its Operation Rescue. A spokesman for Europol has commented that the pornography ring is probably the largest of its kind in the world.

A spokesperson for the U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement has released a statement indicating that there have been five arrests and four convictions within the U.S. as a result of the investigation and bust. Specific arrests have been made in both Georgia and Connecticut. The investigation included authorities from thirteen countries including the United States, Australia, Canada, Italy, Spain, and the U.K. The site operated from a server based out of the Netherlands and reportedly at one time had up to 70,000 members. The site administrator aided authorities in breaking encryption measures following his arrest. Police identified members of the site that posed the greatest risk to children leading to the aforementioned arrests. Investigators also posed as children online as part of the investigation. The investigation is expected to yield more arrests.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of child pornography, you might be entitled to civil recovery. To speak with an attorney about child pornography victims’ rights, please click here.

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A Northbrook, IL, woman has been arrested and charged with two counts of soliciting a minor for child pornography and two counts of possession of child pornography. The woman, Paula R. Ferdkoff, was released last Saturday February 19th from Lake County Jail after posting bond. She has been accused of asking a 14 year old girl to participate with her in a pornographic photo shoot. The photos were taken at Digital Effects studio in Lincolnshire, IL. Reports indicate that a phone number for Digital Effects studio has been disconnected. Authorities believe that the inappropriate photography session was an isolated event.

The photos surfaced last August when the mother of the minor sexual abuse victim uncovered them on a computer in the family household. The woman recognized the accused in the photos and confronted her about them before contacting the Glenview Police. The accused reportedly told the Police that she was an aspiring actress and she felt that the photos would help her advance her career. An investigation by the Police uncovered a compact disc in the vehicle of the accused containing the erotic photos. The police then seized several other items containing the pornographic images including computers and cell phones. Authorities are still investigating other individuals involved in the creation and dissemination of the photographs.

If you would like to speak with an attorney regarding the sexual abuse victims’ rights or child pornography victims’ rights, please click here.