June 5, 2013

Child Sex Abuse Bill Awaiting Governor's Signature

Illinois lawmakers recently passed a bill that would extend the time limit for criminal charges to be brought in childhood sexual abuse cases. Currently under Illinois law, prosecutors have a 10 year period in which to charge bring charges for such a crime. The new proposal will do away with this time limit in cases where the victim was a child at the time of the abuse. The bill still needs the approval of Illinois Governor Pat Quinn before it becomes law.

Please follow our blog for updates on this story.

If you would like to contact attorney, Joseph Klest, regarding the issue of childhood sexual abuse, please, click here, or dial 866-264-7639, for a free consultation.

© Joseph Klest, 2013.

March 11, 2013

Medical License Suspension Continues for Frankfort IL Pediatrician

Frankfor, IL pediatrician, Kishor N. Jain, is facing civil and criminal charges stemming from allegations that he sexually abused patients during office visits. State officials decided to continue withholding Jain's license following his refusal to testify at a suspension hearing.

The suspension will continue pending the outcome of Jain's criminal case, however, if he is found guilty of a sex crime, his license will be automatically revoked.

Many people place great trust and reliance on medical professionals to care for the health and well being of their patients. A violation of that trust can result in unmeasured devastation to families, especially when it comes to children. Victims of sexual abuse often don't know where to turn. Attorney Joseph Klest has spent over 30 years representing victims of neglect in the State of Illinois. He was a co-author of the 2003 Child Protection Act, which lengthened the Illinois statute of limitations allowing sexual abuse victims more time to claim civil damages in certain cases.

To contact attorney Joseph Klest, please click here, or dial 866-264-7639 to schedule a free consultation.

© Joseph Klest, 2013.

January 3, 2013

Over one hundred victims of internet child sexual exploitation identified

An investigation by Federal agents has identified 123 victims of internet child pornography perpetrated by an international operation spanning 19 U.S. states and several foreign countries. As a result of the investigation nearly 250 people were arrested.

This operation, nicknamed Sunflower, was named after Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s first successful case under its Victim Identification Program.

While law enforcement can hold perpetrators of these horrific acts criminally liable, victims are still left emotionally and psychologically scarred. The difficulty of coping with the effects of abuse leaves some victims reluctant to identify their abusers or to come forward with their stories. It is important for survivors of childhood sexual abuse to know they have rights, and enforcing those rights can be an integral part in the healing process.

Since 1991, Attorney Joseph Klest has represented over 100 victims of childhood sexual abuse, helping to pursue abusers and bring them to justice. If you or a loved one have been sexually abused, Mr. Klest would like to help you. To contact attorney Joseph Klest, Please, click here, or dial 866-264-7639.

September 26, 2012

Suburban Chicago Priest Leaves Church Amid Allegations of Sexual Abuse

In June, sexual abuse allegations surfaced against Rev. Gary Miller, a priest from St. Bernadette's Parish in the southern Chicago suburb of Evergreen Park. The allegations relate back to when Miller served at St. Leonard Parish in Berwyn. Following the allegations, Miller was removed from ministry and left his position at St. Bernatette's. Currently, no further allegations against Miller have been reported.

In Illinois, the statute of limitations, or period of time in which a legal action may be brought, for sexual abuse, the “Childhood Sexual Abuse Act”, 735 ILCS 5/13-202.2, was initially enacted in 1991and it was amended in 1993, 2003, 2010, and 2011. Under the Act, victims may be able to seek recovery for the injuries they suffered as a result of being abused, sometimes years after the abuse actually took place.

Sexual abuse victims are often reluctant to come forward. And, in some cases, the psychological damage caused by their attackers leave some victims unable to recall the abuse until later in life. In an effort to confront these difficulties, attorney Joseph Klest helped draft an amendment toe Childhood Sexual Abuse Act in Illinois to extend that period of time in which victims can potentially bring a claim. The Klest Injury law firm provides free consultation to victims of childhood sexual abuse. To speak with an experienced victim's rights attorney from the Klest Injury Law Firm, click here, or dial 866-264-7639.

August 1, 2012

Lake County Florida Pastor Convicted of Child Molestation

Southern Baptist Pastor, Douglas W. Myers, pleaded guilty in a Lake County Florida court to molesting a 13-year-old boy whose grandmother he had befriended. The abuse reportedly began in July 2005 and continued for six months. During that time, Myers would also drive the boy to school.

Myers was considered a trusted church leader by some and worked as a pastor in several states, including Alabama and Maryland. He will serve seven years behind bars and will continue to be monitored even after he is released.

Attorney Joseph Klest has over 30 years experience advocating on behalf of sexual abuse victims. Attorney Klest also helped draft the extended Illinois statute of limitations for sexual abuse cases. If you would like to speak with an attorney regarding sexual abuse victims’ rights, click here, or dial 866-264-7639.

© Joseph G. Klest, 2012.

July 24, 2012

Pennsylvania priest convicted of endangerment based on allegations he helped cover up child sex abuse

Catholic Monsignor William J. Lynn of Philadelphia, who handled child sexual abuse complaints for over 10 years while serving as the secretary for clergy at the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, was found guilty of one count of endangerment based on allegations that he encouraged reassignment for priests suspected of abusing children. This marks the first time a leader of the Catholic Church has been convicted for a crime in connection with the church sex abuse scandal.

Of note, Lynn has never been accused of abusing any children himself. The allegations against him only stem from actions he took as a leader in the Church hierarchy after learning of accusations against other Catholic Priests.

The Klest Injury Law Firm has over 30 years experience advocating on behalf of sexual abuse victims. Chicago attorney Joseph G. Klest helped draft the extended statute of limitations for sexual abuse cases in Illinois. If you would like to speak with an attorney regarding sexual abuse victims’ rights, please click here, or dial 866-264-7639.

© Joseph G. Klest, 2012.

June 29, 2012

New Illinois law requires coaches to report sexual abuse

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed a new law that went into effect Wednesday requiring coaches and university employees to report child sexual abuse. The law is aimed at preventing cases similar to the one involving former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky who was convicted last week of sexually assaulting 10 underage boys.

The addition of coaches and university employees adds to the list of people in Illinois already required to report abuse, including social workers, teachers, healthcare professionals, police, clergy, child care providers, foster parents, funeral home directors and commercial film processors.

Some of the mandatory reporting provisions in Illinois include criminal liability in certain instances where a person required to report abuse willfully fails to do so. The law is meant to prevent child sexual abuse from going unreported.

To contact on attorney experienced in representing victims of sex crimes, click here, or call the Klest Injury Law Firm at 866-264-7639.

© Joseph G. Klest, 2012.

June 22, 2012

Bolingbrook man found guilty of criminal sexual abuse

A Will County man who was found guilty of two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse is currently under house arrest as he awaits his sentencing hearing scheduled for July 20. According to the Will County State's Attorney's Office, the convicted sex offender could face up to 14 years in prison for abusing a 10-year-old girl numerous times over the course of a year.

Victims of sexual abuse are often reluctant to come forward to report their abusers. Attorney Joseph G. Klest understands the stigma that comes with sexual exploitation and offers compassionate legal counsel in a confidential setting. Click here, or dial 866-264-7639 to contact Joseph G. Klest for a confidential and free consultation.

© Joseph G. Klest, 2012

November 28, 2011

Syracuse Fires Coach Accused of Sexual Abuse

Another devastating sex abuse scandal has erupted in college sports. This time Syracuse University assistant basketball coach, Bernie Fine, was fired amid allegations that he molested underage boys. This marks the third high profile college sex abuse scandal in 2011. The other two cases, which occurred at Penn State and The Citadel, involved failures by school officials to report the alleged abuse to police.

Employers, such as Universities, 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, but continued to employ that person or allow him or her access to children.

To speak with an experienced sex abuse lawyer from the Klest Injury Law Firm, click here, or dial 866-264-7639, for a free consultation.

© Joseph G. Klest, 2011.

November 7, 2011

Penn State sex abuse scandal

New criminal charges have been announced in connection with the Penn State sex abuse scandal. Two top administrators from the university, Athletic Director Tim Curley and senior vice president for business and finance, Gary Schultz, are facing perjury charges for failing to report suspected child sex abuse by Penn State’s former defense coordinator Jerry Sandusky.

Sandusky was arrested Saturday on charges of sex abuse. It is reported that the former football coach targeted boys he met through a charity he founded for at-risk youths called The Second Mile. The charity announced on Sunday that Sandusky ceased having any involvement with children through the charity since 2008 when he informed the organization that he was under investigation for sexually abusing young boys.

The Klest Injury Law Firm represents victims of sexual abuse in Illinois and throughout the country. The firm recently announced a milestone victory by receiving a $28,000,000 verdict in a sexual abuse case. This verdict represents the largest civil sexual abuse verdict in Illinois history and is among the largest in the nation. To speak to an experienced sexual abuse attorney from the Klest Injury Law Firm, click here, or call 866-264-7639.

© Joseph G. Klest, 2011.

September 12, 2011

Most sexual assaults are committed by someone the victim knows

According to the Chicago Police Department, Domestic Violence Newsletter, more than 70% of sexual assaults are committed by someone the victim knows. Between March 2010 and March 2011, in the City of Chicago alone, 1,349 incidents or criminal sexual assault were reported. (Statistics on sexual abuse are reported by the office of the Illinois Attorney General.)

These statistics are alarming, but there are things you can do to stop or prevent abuse. When it comes to children, never let your guard down. If you notice unexplained bruises or marks on your child, you should investigate immediately. Ask questions and listen to what your child has to say. The only way a sexual predator doesn’t get caught is if everyone remains silent.

The Klest Injury Law Firm has represented victims of sexual abuse in Illinois and throughout the country. The firm recently announced a milestone victory by receiving a $28,000,000 verdict for a sexual abuse victim. This verdict represents the largest civil sexual abuse verdict in Illinois history and is among the largest in the nation. To speak to an experienced sexual abuse attorney from the Klest Injury Law Firm, click here, or call 866-264-7639.

© Joseph G. Klest, 2011.

August 26, 2011

FBI arrest suburban Chicago man on child porn charges

The FBI arrested Christopher Kice, 41, of the 1100 block of Callaway Drive West in Shorewood this week for possession of child pornography. FBI officials stated they suspect Kice may have produced some of the images inside his home in suburban Chicago. He is charged with felony possession of child pornography.

FBI officials are asking anyone who may have information regarding this case to call 312-421-6700.

Along with criminal prosecution, Federal Law also provides a civil remedy to victims of child pornography. Under 18 U.S.C., Section 2252A(f), victims of child pornography have the right to commence a civil action to seek to recover injunctive relief and damages.
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The Klest Injury Law Firm represents victims of sexual abuse in Illinois and throughout the country. To speak to an experienced sexual abuse lawyer in the Chicago area, click here or dial 866-264-7639 for a free consultation.

© Joseph G. Klest, 2011.

August 25, 2011

Protests erupt over Buddhist monk accused of sexual assault

Buddhist monk, Boa-Ubol, has been living and studying in a Buddhist temple in Long Beach, California for the past few years. Protests began recently in Illinois and California over accusations that the monk sexually assaulted two girls, fathering a child with one, in a Chicago Buddhist temple in 2000.

Members of SNAP, Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, protested in front of the southwest side Chicago temple where the abuse was said to occur. When the abuse was originally reported, officials at the temple claimed that Boa-Ubol was to be sent back to Thailand. Officials at the temple in California claim to have had no knowledge of incidents that occurred in Chicago.

The Klest Injury Law Firm has represented victims of sexual abuse in Illinois and throughout the country. The firm recently announced a milestone victory by receiving a $28,000,000 verdict for a sexual abuse victim. This verdict represents the largest civil sexual abuse verdict in Illinois history and is among the largest in the nation. To speak to an experienced sexual abuse attorney from the Klest Injury Law Firm, click here, or call 866-264-7639.

© Joseph G. Klest, 2011.

August 23, 2011

New Illinois law prevents convicted sex offenders from working as health care professionals

The State of Illinois pulled licenses from 11 health care professionals on Monday citing a new state law that prohibits registered sex offenders and some convicted felons from working in the health care field. Some of the physicians and nurses whose licenses were taken away were convicted of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and child pornography.

The new law gives the State of Illinois the authority to permanently revoke licenses without a hearing.

Before the law took effect the Chicago Tribune reported that a number of doctors in Illinois, convicted of sex crimes, were allowed to keep their physician’s licenses.

© Joseph G. Klest, 2011.

July 18, 2011

Sex Abuse Victims Often Remain Silent for Years

Last week, police charged an Antioch man with molesting a 9-year-old girl, although the incidents of abuse allegedly occurred nearly 10 years ago. Authorities began investigating the matter last June after the victim, who is now 18, came forward to police with information about the abuse.

Victims of child sexual abuse often remain silent about the abuse for years, sometimes coming forward only after they reach adulthood. 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.

July 13, 2011

Few Midwestern campus sexual assault cases result in arrests or convictions.

A recent Chicago Tribune survey of six universities in Illinois and Indiana found that of 171 campus sexual assault cases reported since 2005, police investigations resulted in only 12 arrests and 4 convictions. The rate is far below the national average, leaving most victims with no resolution to their case.

In the midst of this alarming trend, the Department of Education has begun a new initiative to encourage universities and police to more aggressively pursue reports of sexual assaults on campuses. But, because many of these cases involve alcohol, authorities tend to have a difficult time assessing the facts when comparing conflicting accounts from the suspects and their accusers.

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.

May 30, 2011

Crete-Monee Boys Basketball Coach Charged with Sexual Abuse

A Crete-Monee High School boys basketball coach has been charged with the sexual abuse of a minor. The coach, Matthew Ryndak, reportedly turned himself into police last Wednesday on charges of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. According to the Will County State’s Attorneys Office, Ryndak now faces eight counts of the sexual abuse charges for allegedly inappropriately touching a high school boy in September, October, November and December of 2010. He was released from prison after posting a $10,000 bond. A police statement has indicated that none of the acts of sexual abuse occurred at the school itself. Aggravated criminal sexual abuse is a Class 2 felony with a possible sentence of three to seven years in prison.

According to reports, Ryndak has worked at the Crete-Monee High School since 2009. He led the boys basketball team to 25-4 record last year in his first year as head coach of the team. Ryndak was an assistant coach the previous season. He was placed on administrative leave in early May as the matter was being investigated by the Crete Police Department and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

To learn more about sexual abuse victims’ rights or to speak with an experienced Chicago sexual abuse lawyer, please click here.

April 15, 2011

Indy 500 ‘Race Track Reverend’ Accused of Sexual Abuse

Father Philip Derea, who is widely known as the ‘Race Track Reverend’ thanks to his close association with the Indianapolis 500 and the Indy Racing League Ministry, has been publicly accused of sexual abuse. The allegations stem from several sexual abuse acts that allegedly occurred more than three decades ago in the District of Columbia. Derea has served as a priest for more than 49 years and is reportedly a member in good standing with the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart. The accused was the ABC news Person of the Week in 1996 and officiated the wedding of Ashley Judd and race car driver Dario Franchitti. He is now a resident of suburban Chicago, IL.

The sexual abuse victim has revealed that after he contacted Derea regarding the allegations, the priest wrote him an e-mail response apologizing for the abuse and offering the victim sums of money if he would drop any legal claims. In response to the allegations the victims’ rights group Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests issued a statement condemning church officials for their failure to publicly remove the accused priest. The Missionaries of the Sacred Heart was reportedly contacted regarding the sexual abuse allegations but would not issue a statement.

The Klest Law Firm has over twenty nine years of experience handling Illinois personal injury cases, including sexual abuse claims. In fact, founding attorney Joseph Klest once deposed the accused Father Philip Derea relative to another sexual abuse case against the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart. To speak with Chicago sexual abuse attorney Joseph Klest, please click here.

April 12, 2011

Report: Sexual Abuse Claims Against Priests Rose in 2010

A U.S. Roman Catholic Commissioned audit completed on Monday showed that church related sexual abuse claims in the U.S. rose in 2010. According to the report, there were 428 new sexual abuse allegations in 2010, a 7% increase since 2009. As a result, the U.S. Catholic Church and its insurers paid over $124 million dollars to settle claims last year, a nearly $20 million dollar increase from 2009. The number of claims is still significantly less than the peak year of 2004 when 889 sexual abuse allegations were reported by the Church. These record numbers came on the heels of a widely publicized abuse scandal that broke in Boston, MA, about a decade ago. Since that time the U.S. Catholic Church has paid for the annual independent audit of sexual abuse claims. The U.S. Catholic church is now approaching $3 billion dollars in total settlements paid to sexual abuse victims.

The upward trend in credible sexual abuse allegations levied against the Church has been met with criticism by victims’ rights groups. The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (“SNAP”) issued a statement in response to the uptick indicting the bishops for refusing to abide by their own ‘vague and weak policies.’ Of the 345 clergy accused of sexual abuse in 2010, two thirds had already been removed from the ministry or had died.

To learn more about clergy sexual abuse victims’ legal rights, please click here.

April 5, 2011

Update: Report Accuses Chicago Police of Repeated Sexual Misconduct

http://www.chicagotriallaw.com/Last week the Klest Law Firm reported on two Chicago Police officers that were under investigation for an alleged on-duty sexual assault. The two officers were accused of engaging in sexual activity with an intoxicated female whom they offered a ride home. In updating that story, information has surfaced indicating that certain officers involved in the alleged assault may have been accused in the past. The story reveals that nearly a half dozen women have either come forward or are being interviewed in connection with sexual abuse allegations against the two officers that were involved in the alleged assault last week. A third officer, who frequently works with the accused officers on their overnight shift, has also been implicated. He was reportedly the recipient of a different complaint by another woman while he was partnering when one of the officers involved in the incident last week. All three officers have been relieved of their police powers for ‘misconduct’. The names of the Chicago Police officers remain unavailable.

A spokesperson for the Police Department has indicated that the command staff is not taking the allegations lightly and that more than four women are being actively interviewed by the Police forces. At least two of the officers are expected to face charges pending the conclusion of a forensic investigation. The Klest Law Firm will continue to update this story as more information becomes available.

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

April 1, 2011

Two Chicago Police Officers under Investigation for On-Duty Sexual Assault

Two Chicago Police officers are being criminally investigated following allegations that the officers were involved in an on duty sexual assault early Wednesday morning. Reports indicate that the officers were arrested on Wednesday and questioned at the Belmont Area headquarters with legal representation present. They have yet to be criminally charged. The criminal investigation remains ongoing as Chicago Police continue to compile evidence and forensics.

The officers are accused of allegedly picking up an intoxicated 22 year old woman in a marked car near Wrigley Field and offering her a ride home. She allegedly had sex with one of the officers in the passenger seat of the vehicle on the ride home. Upon returning home, the woman and two officers are accused of playing strip poker before the women again had sex with one of the officers. The sexual abuse victim told investigating officers that she began to feel intimidated and was afraid of rejecting the officers’ sexual advances. The woman reportedly pounded on the wall to get her neighbor’s attention and later ran screaming from the apartment. A neighbor witness called the police around 3 a.m. Reports indicate that another neighbor witness reportedly saw a naked man running down the hallway of the building and another man who may have been wearing a police uniform. Investigators found portions of an officer uniform and a cell phone belonging to one of the officers in the woman’s apartment. The woman received treatment at St. Francis Hospital in Evanston.

If you have any questions regarding sexual abuse in the State of Illinois or would otherwise like to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney, please click here.


February 11, 2011

Sexual Abuse Charges Include Unprecedented Action against Philadelphia Archdiocese Official

Three Philadelphia area priests and an area school teacher were charged with the sexual abuse of minor boys in their care yesterday while a former official with the Archdiocese was criminally charged with allowing the priests continued access to the children. The charges against the official are unprecedented as it is reportedly the first time that a Catholic leader has been charged criminally for the cover-up of abuse as opposed to the abusive acts themselves. The underlying abuse was allegedly perpetrated by two priests from the St. Jerome Parish from 1998 to 1999 and a teacher at the school in 2000. Another priest has been accused of sexually assaulting a different 14 year old boy in 1996.

The charges related to the cover-up of the sexual abuse have been levied against Monsignor William Lynn. Lynn has been formally charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child in connection with the allegations. Lynn was the individual in charge of investigating reports of priest abuse within the Philadelphia diocese from 1992 to 2004. The grand jury indictment included allegations that Lynn knowingly allowed dangerous priests to have continued contact with children. Reports indicate that the grand jury believed over 30 priests had remained within the Philadelphia ministry despite credible allegations of abuse. The priests responsible for the sexual abuse were charged with rape, indecent sexual assault and other criminal charges. Meanwhile the teacher has been accused of sodomizing an 11 year old boy. The grand jury has also recommended that the Archdiocese overhaul its procedures and policies for handling sexual abuse claims.

If you have any questions about sexual abuse or would like to speak with an attorney, please click here.

January 21, 2011

Tinley Park Mental Health Center Psychologist Charged with Sexual Abuse

A psychologist at the Tinley Park Mental Health Center has been charged with sexual misconduct with a person with a disability and with official misconduct stemming from his alleged conduct with a patient at the State of Illinois run facility. According to reports, 66 year old Robert Eizinga of Tinley Park, IL, has been accused of manipulating and misleading a psychological patient into engaging in sexual acts with him and then offering her money to keep quiet. The accused has been an employee of the Illinois Department of Human Services for over 20 years. In that capacity he has both counseled psychological patients and worked as a court liaison to the state’s attorney’s office and to the Guardianship and Advocacy Commission health attorneys.

A news release from the Cook County State’s Attorneys Office has indicated that the victim was a 45 year old woman admitted to the institution for depression on April 25th. Eizinga allegedly threatened to keep the victim at the facility or transfer her to another mental health hospital unless she acquiesced to his sexual advances. The sexual abuse victim reportedly contacted her sister following the second instance of sexual contact at which point the victim was discharged from the facility. Eizinga then reportedly purchased a cellular telephone for the sexual abuse victim and gave her money in the hopes that she would not go to the police. The victim filed a formal complaint on May 12 at which time the accused was placed on administrative leave. He appeared in the Circuit Court of Cook County Bridgeview on Thursday where bail was set at $150,000.00.

If you have been the victim of sexual abuse in the greater Chicago area and would like to speak with an experienced sexual abuse attorney, please click here.

January 12, 2011

Chicago Taxi Cab Driver Accused of Fondling Customer

A Chicago cab driver was charged with one count of criminal sexual abuse by force following allegations that the driver had fondled a customer on the evening of December 24, 2010. The sexual abuse victim, who is an employee of Butch McGuire’s in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood, testified that she was in the taxicab on her way home from work when the abuse occurred. She testified that she hailed a United cab around 1:15 a.m. outside Butch McGuire’s and requested that the driver take her to the Southwest side. She alleges that while the cab was on the expressway the driver told her she was very attractive an started to stroke her hair. After she brushed his hand away, she testified that he reached into her open coat and grabbed her chest. The alleged sexual abuse victim also claims that the cab driver attempted to force his hand into her groin area several times. She was eventually dropped off at her place of residence.

A roommate of hers reportedly went outside and hailed a police officer when she arrived home. The cab driver, 28 year old Mohammad Assafa of Chicago, IL, was arrested soon thereafter near the intersection of Kedzie and 16th streets. The accused is free on a $25,000.00 bond.

If you have any questions regarding sexual abuse victims’ rights in or around Chicago, please click here.

January 5, 2011

Plainfield, IL, Teacher Accused of Sexual Abuse of Minor

A South Suburban Chicago teacher has been accused of sexual abuse in connection with an alleged sexual relationship between the teacher and a 16 year old student. The accused, 27 year old Ashley Blumenshine of Lisle, IL, has been formally charged with criminal sexual abuse stemming from an encounter in the back of a vehicle on Tuesday night. According to reports, local police authorities approached a vehicle behind a department store on the 11800 block of South Illinois Highway 59 in Plainfield, IL. The vehicle, which was isolated from any others in the parking lot, allegedly contained the teacher and a 16 year old student. The Will County State’s Attorney has indicated that both the teacher and the sexual abuse victim admitted to having sex in the car.

The accused educator is a physical education teacher who has taught in the district since 2006. She is reportedly a graduate of Eastern Illinois University and Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbannais, IL. Plainfield District 202 released a statement yesterday indicating the district would take appropriate action once the accused teacher is released. Bail was set at $75,000 at a hearing in Joliet, IL. Aggravated criminal sexual abuse is a felony punishable by three to seven years in jail.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual abuse in Illinois, you should contact an experienced attorney to investigate the circumstances surrounding the abuse and protect your rights. The Klest Law Firm has over twenty eight years of experience advocating on behalf of sexual abuse victims in and around Illinois. To speak with an attorney from the Klest Law Firm, please click here.

November 24, 2010

Chicago Orthodontist Charged With Sexual Abuse of Minor

A Northwest side orthodontist has been charged with aggravated criminal sexual assault of a victim between the ages of 13 and 18 stemming from an alleged encounter with a 13 year old at his office last August. According to reports, the accused dentist, Dr. Ernest Panos, operates an office in the 4800 block of North Milwaukee Ave in the city of Chicago. Panos is accused of fondling a 13 year old girl in an examination chair over her clothing while her mother was waiting in the car. The alleged victim was at the office for a routine adjustment of her braces when the alleged sexual abuse occurred. Bond was set at $200,000.00 for the Northwest Side orthodontist.

The orthodontist was originally arrested on August 11, 2010, and questioned by local police. Charges were not brought at that time. Panos was not arrested until the early morning of November 23, 2010. Panos’s attorney reports that his client is 81 years old and in poor health and that he has no previous criminal record. He claims that the accused also served in the U.S. military and has been a citizen for fifty years. Panos has been barred from any contact with the victim, her mother, or any other children under the age of 18. He is next scheduled to appear in court on December 13, 2010, for a preliminary hearing.

For more information regarding sexual abuse in Illinois, please click here.

November 15, 2010

Chicago Tribune Investigation Uncovers Sexual Abuse of Patients by Suburban Doctor

An article in this Sunday’s Chicago Tribune detailed several allegations of sexual abuse against Dr. Allan Aven of whose practice was based out of Arlington Heights, IL. In all, three different women have alleged that Dr. Aven had engaged them in sexual relationships while he acting as their physician. The Chicago doctor has now closed his Illinois office and set up a practice in Arizona.

The most recent allegations come from a woman who claims that the doctor had recommended that she engage in sexual intercourse with him in order to medically stimulate her libido. The doctor also allegedly prescribed many prescription medications to the victim. She was eventually treated at Northwest Community Hospital where she was weaned off the drugs prescribed by Aven. A similar and more disturbing story alleged of sexual abuse by the Doctor occurred in 2001 when one of his sexual abuse victims was found lying on his office steps after having overdosed on medications that he prescribed. Aven had been having an ongoing sexual relationship with the deceased woman. A complaint was filed to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation following the death. Dr. Aven’s license was suspended for only four months following that incident and he was placed on a two-year probation. He met with his probation officer only one time and continues to hold his license and practice medicine to this date.

If you have any questions about sexual abuse of patients by doctors or would like to speak with an attorney experienced in handling these sensitive and complex matters, please click here.

October 12, 2010

Recent Study Determines More than Half of Chicago Parishes Housed Priest Accused of Sexual Abuse

A study released yesterday by the sexual abuse victims' groups Voice of the Faithful, African American Advocates for Victims of Clergy Sex Abuse and the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) has found that more than half of the Roman Catholic parishes in Chicago had endured an allegation of sexual abuse by a priest at some point in time. The findings indicated that from 1980 until 1990, 57.7% of Chicago parishes harbored at least one accused priest. Numbers from other decades are almost identical.

The accuracy of the findings has been questioned by the Archdiocese of Chicago. A spokesperson for the Diocese noted that ‘the analysis and conclusions appear to be questionable’. The data was compiled by workers from the reform groups combing through a database compiled of accused, admitted and convicted priests. Sixty five of the accusations were substantiated by the Diocese whereas the other 32 originated from civil sexual abuse lawsuits and media reports. The study did determine that certain areas had higher instances of priests accused of sexual abuse. Those areas include Chicago’s Bridgeport, West Town, Lincoln Park, and Garfield Ridge neighborhoods. The study spanned the assignment of priests from 1917 through 2009. Several churches including Saint Leonard Parish in Berwyn, Saint Aloysius Church in Wicker Park and Saint Christina Parish in Mount Greenwood had multiple accused priests come through their doors.

The study is indicative of an epidemic that has swept through Chicago. Sexual abuse victims often do not know where to turn for recourse. The Klest Law Firm has over twenty nine years of experience advocating on behalf of sexual abuse victims in Chicago and throughout Illinois. To speak with an experienced Chicago area victims’ rights attorney, please click here.

August 25, 2010

Former Illinois Youth Soccer Coach Sentenced for Childhood Sexual Abuse

A former Illinois youth soccer coach who worked as a paramedic was sentenced to 50 years in prison for sexually assaulting six young boys and manufacturing child pornography. The convicted, 46 year Timothy Scholtes of Coal City, IL, was sentenced on August 17, 2010. His sentence was the result of an investigation conducted by the U.S. Office of Homeland Security and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Scholtes was arrested back in June of 2009 as a result of the aforementioned investigation. The arrest occurred after federal agents searched and raided Scholtes’s home and computer. He plead guilty in October of 2009 to two counts of receiving child pornography and one count of manufacturing. He denied that he sexually assaulted any children.

The sentencing hearing for Scholtes included testimony from the family members of seven minor victims, some of which claimed that they were sexually assaulted. According to reports, one 10 year old soccer player had refused to ride with him after he made a sexual advance. The Judge imposed a sentence of 50 years including the maximum of 30 years on the manufacturing count and 10 years for each of the receiving counts. Scholtes had worked as a fireman, paramedic, and soccer coach in Illinois.

If you have been the victim of sexual abuse you, should contact an attorney that understands how to handle sexual abuse claims in Illinois. Attorney Joseph G. Klest has over twenty eight years of experience handling these types of cases throughout Illinois. To speak with an experienced sexual abuse attorney, please click here.

August 17, 2010

State of Illinois Looks to Close Clinic Owned by Convicted Sexual Abuser

The State of Illinois is looking to shut down a surgical center owned by an Illinois doctor that has been convicted of sexual abuse. Dr. Nercy Jafari of the Grand Avenue Surgical Center in Chicago was found guilty of sexually abusing a patient in 2001 while performing a bikini-line laser treatment. According to records, Jafari removed a 23 year-old patients bikini bottoms and stroked her thighs and genitals with his bare hand. A woman who worked for the Dr, Jafari also testified that he inappropriately touched her when she received similar treatment. Prosecutors had also compiled allegations from another former employee in Jafari’s 2001 prosecution.

Dr. Jafari was convicted and sentenced to 24 months of sex offender probation, but his license was never suspended. The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation had filed a formal complaint against the doctor. Jafari was able to participate in a private conference with a member of the medical disciplinary board who determined that Jafari’s denial of wrongdoing was sufficient to retain his license. Jafari is now required to have a chaperon present when he performs exams on female patients. A separate agency, the Illinois Department of Health, is now looking to close the center with an August 2nd notice of intent to revoke. Jafari will be allowed to continue to practice while he fights the revocation.

Sexual abuse victims are often scared or uncomfortable about exposing their abusers. Victims’ rights attorney Joseph G. Klest has over twenty eight years of experience handling very sensitive sexual abuse cases in the State of Illinois. To speak with attorney Klest, please click here.

August 1, 2010

Extensive Number of Sexual Abuse Complaints against Chicago Doctor

The Chicago Tribune published an article earlier this week detailing
the substantial number of sexual abuse allegations levied against Dr.
Ricardo Arze between 2000 and 2007. According to the article, Arze
allegedly sexually assaulted at least 21 women and girls at his
practice in Berwyn, IL. The first complaint against Arze was lodged in
2003 when a 17 year old girl told Berwyn police that the doctor had
removed her clothes and sexually assaulted her in his exam room. It
took four more years and at least four formal complaints to police to
initiate an investigation that led to Arze’s being charged with
criminal sexual assault. Since that time at least 21 total girls and
women have detailed acts of sexual abuse committed by Arze. The
victims of Arze that did come forward report to being brushed aside by
police.

The widespread abuses committed by Arze are indicative of a system
which some feel does not adequately protect patients from sexual
predators masquerading as doctors. Medical discipline of doctors is
handled by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional
Regulation
. That disciplinary agency is not required to report abuse
allegations to police just as the police are not required to report to
the disciplinary authorities. In addition, Illinois law only allows
license revocation where a doctor has been twice convicted of felonies
involving controlled substances or public aid offenses. As such, Dr.
Arze’s license to practice medicine has not been revoked.

Arze was finally charged in 2007 with sexual assault and is currently
released on $1.5 million dollar bail. Once the charges against Arze
were made public, many more women began to come forward with stories
of abuse. Many of these women filed civil sexual abuse cases against
Arze. Oftentimes, pressure and exposure through civil lawsuits can
spur prosecutorial action where police and the state are unwilling or
unable to bring a case. If you have been the victim of institutional
sexual abuse, you should contact an attorney to explore your options
and potentially expose harmful predators. To speak with an experienced
Illinois victims’ rights attorney, please click here.

July 28, 2010

Former Priest and Convicted Illinois Sexual Abuser Released from Prison

A former priest has been released from an Illinois prison after having plead guilty to the criminal sexual abuse of two minors under the age of 16 in 2004. Mark Campobello, who was ordained in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockford in 1991, is being released for the third time since 2006. He was twice returned to custody for parole violations. The only condition placed upon his present release is that he register as an Illinois Sex Offender.

The sexual abuse for which Campobello served time reportedly occurred between 1999 and 2001. Reports indicate that Campobello was transferred numerous times while he was a priest. Campobello spent time at the Holy Family Parish in Rockford, IL, St. Peter Parish in Geneva, IL, the Cathedral of St. Peter in Rockford, IL, Holy Angel’s Parish in Aurora, IL, St. Thomas the Apostle in Crystal Lake, IL, and St. James Parish in Belvidere, IL. Campobello was also the assistant principal and spiritual director of Aurora Central Catholic High School in Aurora, IL. Court documents also indicate that Campobello underwent a course of treatment at St. Luke Hospital in Maryland which is a mental health facility for Catholic ministers. This treatment was reportedly initiated at the direction of the diocese. Campobello was eventually defrocked in 2005.

The high number of transfers and/or reassignments of Campobello coupled with his stint in the Maryland mental health facility indicate that diocese officials may have been aware of at least some allegations against Campobello. To date, the diocese has refused to release Campobello’s personnel records.

The Childhood Sexual Abuse Act allows victims of sexual abuse in Illinois to come forward and bring civil cases many years after an abuse was committed. This expanded statute of limitations will oftentimes allow otherwise unreported abuses to be prosecuted. If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual abuse in Illinois, you should contact an attorney to explore your rights. Chicago victims’ rights attorney Joseph G. Klest helped author the aforementioned statute. To speak with attorney Klest, please click here.

July 13, 2010

New Sexual Abuse Charges Brought Against Former Chicago Priest Daniel McCormack

New criminal charges have been filed against Chicago priest Daniel McComack by the Illinois Attorney General this week. McCormack is currently being held in a mental health facility after having been paroled last September. The now 41 year old defrocked priest served two and a half years in prison after pleading guilty to five felony counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse in 2001. He was paroled last September, but the Cook County State’s Attorney and the Illinois Attorney General filed petitions under the Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act to block his complete release.

The charges against McCormack date back to 2001 when the priest was a teacher and basketball coach at Our Lady of the Westside School (now St. Agatha Academy). Prosecutors in the original criminal case claimed that McCormack was abusing young boys at the school on a nearly daily basis. The abused boys were reportedly between the ages of 8 and 12 years old. McCormack was finally removed as a pastor when formal charges were filed in 2001. A child safety review that was performed after McCormack’s initial arrest uncovered evidence that the internal abuse investigation performed by the Archdiocese was mishandled. The archdiocese has now put a new monitoring program into place.

The atrocities suffered at the hands of McCormack’s victims are extremely upsetting. Sexual abuse victims’ advocate attorney Joseph G. Klest is a pioneer in the fight for victim’s rights in Illinois. Attorney Klest, whose family is from Douglas Park, helped draft the current statute of limitations for civil sexual abuse claims in Illinois. He was also selected to sit on a panel addresing the abuses committed by the now defrocked McCormack. To speak with attorney Klest, please click here.

June 22, 2010

Illinois Doctors Convicted of Sexual Abuse Often Allowed to Continue to Practice

A recent report in the Chicago Tribune has uncovered that many Chicago area doctors have continued to practice medicine despite sexual abuse convictions. The article, which was published in Sunday’s newspaper, detailed how many Illinois doctors convicted of sexual abuse don’t lose their licenses and sometimes even avoid discipline altogether. The story uncovered 16 sex offenders who have held state licenses within the last year, none of which has had a permanent license revocation. Licensing of doctors in Illinois is handled by the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation. A spokesperson for that Department has said that doctors are customarily disciplined based upon the evidence and sentences of criminal courts. The Illinois Medical Practice Act dictates that doctor licenses will not be revoked unless the offender has been twice convicted of felonies involving controlled substances or public aid offenses. Sexual abuse offenders do not fall within this category.

Critics of the current system have pointed to the fact that even doctors that are found guilty of criminal sexual offenses have been allowed to keep their licenses or have had their licenses reinstated. The system has allowed habitual sexual offenders to continue to treat Illinois patients.

If you or someone you know has been sexually abused by an Illinois doctor, you should contact a Chicago area personal injury lawyer to investigate the abuse and protect your rights. Chicago sexual abuse victim advocate attorney Joseph G. Klest has over twenty eight years of experience handling sexual abuse claims. To contact the Klest Law Firm, please click here.

April 22, 2010

Nuevos Cargos Penales Contra Sacerdote de Chicago que fue Acusado de Abuso Sexual

Se han presentado cargos criminales frescos contra el Sacerdote Alejandro Flores derivadas de su tiempo como un seminarista en la parroquia de St. Mary en West Chicago, IL y la parroquia de Holy Family en Shorewood, Illinois. Flores ha sido bajo custodia de la policía, ya que él se entregó el 20 de enero de 2010. Él está actualmente detenido en la cárcel del condado de Kane bajo fianza de 1 millón de dólares. Flores hizo los titulares anteriores este año cuando intentó suicidarse tras las denuncias de abuso sexual. Flores saltó 20 pies desde un balcón en la Iglesia de Santa María de Carmelitas en Joliet, Illinois, en este enero pasado cuando la policía fueron a iniciar una investigación de abuso sexual.

Flores enfrenta las acusaciones de que tuvo contacto sexual con un joven de St. Charles entre el 1 de enero de 2005 y el 1 de enero de 2010. Flores también esta acusado de intentar iniciar el contacto sexual con el hermano mayor de ese chico durante el mismo período de tiempo. Flores fue acusado el martes en un cargo de depredador criminal de aggression sexual, seis cargos de penal la agresión sexual, seis cargos de abuso sexual agravado de penal, dos cargos de solicitud indecente de un niño y un cargo del intento de abuso sexual Penal agravado. Flores enfrenta a un mínimo de 25 años en prisión si es declarado culpable. Las nuevas acusaciones prevalecerán sobre la denuncia de abuso sexual criminal presentado el 15 de enero. Estos nuevos cargos se basan en la información que fue descubierta durante una investigación de Flores.

La empreza de abodagos Klest tiene más de veintiocho años de experiencia defendiendo en nombre de los víctimas de abuso sexual. El Abogado Joseph Klest de Chicago ayudó en el proyecto del estatuto de limitaciones por abuso sexual para casos en Illinois. Si desea hablar con un abogado con respecto a los derechos de los víctimas de abuso sexual, por favor haga clic aquí.

April 21, 2010

New Criminal Charges brought against Chicago Priest Accused of Sexual Abuse

Fresh criminal sexual abuse charges have been filed against Rev. Alejandro Flores stemming from his time as a seminarian at St. Mary’s Parish in West Chicago, IL, and Holy Family Parish in Shorewood, IL. Flores has been under police custody since he surrendered on January 20th of 2010. He is currently being held in Kane County Jail on $1 million dollar bond. Flores made headlines earlier this year when he attempted to commit suicide following sexual abuse allegations. Flores leapt 20 feet from a balcony at St. Mary’s Carmelite Church in Joliet, IL, last January as police were initiating a sexual abuse investigation.

Flores is facing allegations that he had sexual contact with a young St. Charles boy between January 1st, 2005, and January 1st, 2010. Flores is also accused of attempting sexual contact with the older sibling of that boy during the same time period. Flores was indicted Tuesday on one count of predatory criminal sexual assault, six counts of criminal sexual assault, six counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, two counts of indecent solicitation of a child, and one count of attempted aggravated criminal sexual abuse. Flores faces a minimum of 25 years in prison if convicted. The new indictments supersede the criminal sexual abuse complaint filed on January 15th. These new charges are based on information that was uncovered during an investigation of Flores.

The Klest Law Firm has over twenty eight years on experience advocating on behalf of sexual abuse victims. Chicago attorney Joseph G. Klest helped draft the statute of limitations for sexual abuse cases in Illinois. If you would like to speak with an attorney regarding sexual abuse victims’ rights, please click here.

March 12, 2010

Former Suburban Chicago Cheerleading Coach Convicted of Sexual Abuse

A former Naperville cheerleading coach was sentenced yesterday to over three years in prison resulting from an ongoing sexual relationship he had in 2006 with a 13 year old girl. The coach, 30 year-old Bradley Abraham of Aurora, was part owner of Illinois Cheer Extreme Athletics at 127 Ambassador Dr. in Naperville, IL. He was initially charged in 2008 with eight counts of sexual abuse and assault involving former students of his at the academy. The charges against Abraham resulted from his interactions with both a 13 year old and a 16 year old. According to reports, Abraham had an ongoing sexual relationship with the 13 year old. The alleged sexual conduct with the 13 year old victim occurred in March and April of 2006 in several locations including the gym facility where she trained. Abraham is no longer associated with the athletic facility.

Both of the sexual abuse victims were present in court when Abraham was sentenced. He will now be forced to register as a childhood sexual offender for the duration of his life. Abraham had asked the court for probation noting that he had betrayed his victims’ trust.


The sexual abuse victims may have claims against both the abuser and the facility where he worked. Chicago attorney Joesph G. Klest has almost thirty years of experience handling sexual abuse claims. As a victim’s rights advocate, attorney Joseph G. Klest understands the often sensitive and emotional nature of sexual abuse cases. Additionally, attorney Klest helped co-author the current statute of limitations in childhood sexual abuse cases and has argued the issue in front of the Illinois Supreme Court. If you have any questions, or would like to contact attorney Klest, please click here.

March 9, 2010

Illinois Man Accused of Child Sexual Abuse

A Maine Township, IL, man has been charged with criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse following accusations that he repeatedly molested a child. The accused, 43 year old Christopher Johnson of the 9400 block of Bay Colony Drive, is being held on $100,000.00 bond following his arrest on Wednesday. The Cook County Sheriff’s Department has stated that the abuse may have gone on for as long as ten years. The alleged sexual abuse reportedly occurred at multiple locations. Johnson was also arrested in 2000 pursuant to a Chicago Police investigation regarding allegations of child sexual abuse. Johnson was found not guilty of that charge.

According to reports, Johnson worked as a part-time patient care technician and physical therapy aide at hospitals and clinics in the northwest suburbs. The names of these facilities have not been released pending a police investigation. Police are currently investigating whether or not other children may have been subjected to sexual abuse. Anyone with information related to this matter is encouraged to call (708) 865-4896.

Many sexual abuse victims are frightened of coming forward to expose predators. The Klest Law Firm has over 30 years of experience handling cases involving childhood sexual abuse. In fact, the founding partner, Joseph G. Klest, helped write the statute of limitations for sexual abuse cases in Illinois. To speak with an experienced Chicago area sexual abuse attorney, please click here.

February 24, 2010

Arizona Bill Proposing One Year Window for Sexual Abuse Victims through Committee

The Arizona Senate Judiciary Committee has approved a bill that would give sexual abuse victims an entire lifetime to sue their abusers and also open one year window for those abused within the past 35 years. The bill, SB 1292, would allow former sexual abuse victims one year to file suit even if the time limit for filing a claim has previously run out. The measure passed through the Senate committee without dissent. The bill will now be considered by the entire Arizona Senate.

The passing of the bill was preceded by a plea from Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeau who told legislators last week that he was a victim of childhood sexual abuse. Babeau noted the importance of providing a civil remedy for those that were harmed by sexual abuse and a means of exposing sexual predators. The acting director of the National Center for Victims of Crime agreed testifying that, “Pedophiles don’t retire. Even when the victim waits 30 years to disclose the abuse, if the perpetrator is still alive, we find them at 70 or 80 years old, in walkers and wheelchairs, continuing to molest kids.”

The one year window would offer an opportunity for many victims to finally seek justice for the harms they have suffered. Similar measures have been successful in other states in exposing sexual predators. The Klest Law Firm has almost thirty years of experience handling civil sexual abuse cases. If you have any questions regarding civil sexual abuse cases, please click here.

February 19, 2010

Priest Accused of Sexual Abuse Gets New Judge

A Joliet, IL, priest that is currently facing allegations of predatory sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual abuse and criminal sexual assault was assigned a new judge yesterday. The criminal case is aimed at Alejandro Flores, a 37 year old former Joliet, IL, priest. Prosecutors allege that Flores assaulted a young boy from January of 2005 until he was arrested last month. The allegations of childhood sexual abuse arise from a time in which Flores was a semarian at St. Mary’s Carmelite Church in Joliet, IL. The church was made aware of the allegations against Flores through an investigation by the West Chicago Police Department. Flores had most recently spent time as a priest in Streamwood, IL. Flores has just recovered from a suicide attempt by jumping off a church balcony after St. Charles Police were notified of the sexual abuse accusations.

The sexual abuse case against Flores has now been re-assigned to Associate Judge Jordan Gallagher. Flores’s attorney had asked that the case be re-assigned after it was placed on Judge Allen Anderson’s court call. The defense has the right to exercise a substitution of judge in any given case. Flores is next scheduled to appear in court on March 11, 2010.

The Klest Law firm has almost thirty years of experience handling civil cases involving sexual abuse. If you would like to speak with a Chicago area injury lawyer or have any questions regarding sexual abuse victims’ rights, please click here.

February 18, 2010

Sacerdote Accused de abuso sexual obtiene nuevo juez.

Un sacerdote de Joliet, IL ha sido acusado de cuatro cargos de penal y dos cargos de agresión sexual criminal tras las denuncias que él molesto a un nino de 13 años - en una iglesia de Chicago occidental. Reverendo Alejandro Flores, un sacerdote de 37 año de edad, recientemente, al parecer, había intentado suicidarse por caída de un balcón de 20 pies desde un en la Iglesia de Santa María de carmelita en Joliet, Illinois. Flores fue encontrado inconsciente en el piso de la Iglesia el 6 de enero. Las denuncias de abuso de la infancia sexual son de cuando Flores estaba en semarian en Santa María. La iglesia se hizo consciente de las denuncias contra Flores a través de una investigación de el. La policía estaba planeando en entrevistar a Flores es mismo día en que cayó desde el balcón. El ex sacerdote fue lanzado desde el hospital directamente a la custodia de las autoridades del Condado de Kane ayer.

Cargos Formales y cargos de asalto fueron cargados contra Flores el vienes pasado. Su fianca se fijó en 1 millón de dólares. Flores va a recibir una detección para determinar si debe de estar en observacion de suicidio segun el teniente Pat Gengler . El Dijo que un intento de suicidio similar a la conducta de Flores generalmente merece atención especial.

Si han sido víctima de abuso sexual o le gustaría hablar con un abogado con más de veinte ocho años de experiencia en casos de abuso sexual, por favor oprima aquí.

January 27, 2010

Sexual Abuse Allegations in Nursing Homes Largely Unprosecuted

An investigation by the Chicago Tribune has found that of the 86 cases of sexual abuse and violence reported within Chicago nursing homes since July of 2007 only one has resulted in an arrest. The investigation determined that rape or other sexual assault allegations were reported in about 30 nursing homes in and around the city. While the bulk of the reported abuse cases alleged abuse by fellow residents, there were also reports of abuse at the hands of nursing home employees.

One speculated reason for the proliferation of nursing home sexual abuse in Chicago is Illinois’ use of nursing homes to house psychiatric patients with sometimes violent criminal records. The Tribune study found that the 30 Chicago facilities that reported rapes were twice as likely to house mentally ill patients and convicted felons as other nursing homes. Of the 23 Chicago nursing homes which the federal government has investigated for substandard staffing levels, 21 were rated ‘below’ or ‘well below’ average staffing levels.

The stunning lack of prosecution has been linked to several factors. Some experts point to the fact that many sexual abuse victims suffer from dementia and delusions which render them unable to assist investigators. Others contend that many of the sexual abuse victims are afraid of speaking out due to the proximity of the abusers, fear of alienating the caregivers, and anxiety about facing police questions and forensic examination. Still others have pointed the finger at the nursing homes themselves which have reported many of the incidents as ‘consensual’.

If you or someone you love has been the victim of sexual abuse and would like to speak with an attorney, please click here.

January 25, 2010

Comedian Andy Dick Arrested on Charges of Felony Sexual Abuse

Comedian Andy Dick was charged with two counts of felony sexual abuse in West Virginia on Saturday. Dick was arraigned on Saturday afternoon by a Cabell County Magistrate Court. The charges stem from an incident at a bar called Rum Runners in which Dick is accused of grabbing a bouncer’s crotch and groping a male club patron. Bail was set at $60,000 for the comedian who is due back at court on February 2nd for a preliminary hearing.

The present sexual abuse charges are not Dick’s first legal troubles. The Hollywood comedian is presently on probation from a July 2008 incident in which Dick was accused of pulling the shirt of a teenage girl exposing her breasts. Dick pleaded guilty to drug and sexual battery charges arising out of that incident. Dick was also arrested in 1999 for possession of cocaine and marijuana.

If you know anyone who has been the victim of sexual abuse or would like to speak with an attorney who has over twenty eight years handling sexual abuse cases, please click here.

January 21, 2010

Joliet, IL, Priest who Attempted Suicide Charged with Sexual Abuse

A Joliet, IL, priest has been charged with four counts of criminal sexual abuse and two counts of criminal sexual assault following allegations that he molested a 13 year-old boy at a West Chicago church. Rev. Alejandro Flores, a 37 year old priest, had recently reportedly attempted suicide by falling 20 feet from a balcony at St. Mary’s Carmelite Church in Joliet, IL. Flores was found unconscious on the floor of the church on January 6th.
The allegations of childhood sexual abuse date back to Flores’s time as a semarian at St. Mary’s. The church was made aware of the allegations against Flores through an investigation by the West Chicago Police Department. The police were planning on interviewing Flores the same day that he fell from the balcony.

The former priest was released from the hospital directly to the custody of Kane County authorities yesterday. Formal sexual abuse and assault charges were brought against Flores last Friday. His bond was set at $1 million dollars. Flores is to receive screening to determine whether he should be on suicide watch according to Lt. Pat Gengler of the Kane County Sheriff’s Department. He said that a suicide attempt similar to the conduct of Flores generally warrants special attention.

If you have been the victim of sexual abuse or would like to talk to a lawyer with over twenty eight years of experience in sexual abuse cases, please click here.

January 21, 2010

Sacerdote Accused de sexual abuse obtiene nuevo juez, Joliet, IL

Un sacerdote de la área de Chicago presuntamente saltó desde un balcón de Iglesia de 20 pies de alto ayer cuando una investigación de abuso sexual comensaba. Reverendo Alejandro Flores, 37 año, Vicario parroquial de la parroquia de Santa familia en Shorewood, IL, al parecer, fue encontrado inconsciente situada entre los bancos de la Iglesia de Camelite de Santa María en Joliet, Illinois. El sacerdote sobrevivió a la caída, pero ha sufrido. Él sigue hospitalizado en los cuidados intensivos en Joliet desde ayer. El sacerdote se encuentra en condición crítica pero estable.

Flores sólo había sido colocado en licencia administrativa pendiente una investigación de denuncias al sacerdote de un niño de trece años de edad. El Condado de Kane tanto la (DCFS) está investigando las denuncias de abusos sexuales contra el sacerdote. Flores había sido colocado en residencia de diócesis en Joliet donde fue estrechamente monitorear y mantenido sin contacto con los niños. Los Detectives estaban en camino a Joliet para entrevistar el sacerdote con respecto a las denuncias de abuso sexual cuando huyó de la residencia de la Diócesis de Joliet. Fue encontrado en la iglesia de Santa María, que estaba abordar y vacante, pasaron tres y media horas después de que él desapareció. Flores al parecer llevaba una chaqueta, teléfono celular, gafas, un gran cuchillo y una botella de licor cuando cayó desde el balcón. La investigación de abuso sexual está en curso. \

Las víctimas de abusos sexuales a menudo no saben dónde acudir o qué hacer. Si han sido víctima de abusos sexuales o desea hablar con un abogado, por favor prima aquí.

January 17, 2010

Federal Study Finds Disturbing Rates of Sexual Abuse at Juvenile Detention Centers

A government study released on Thursday found staggering rates of sexual abuse at juvenile correctional centers around the country. According to the study, nearly one out of three inmates at 13 juvenile detention centers around the country reported some type of sexual victimization. The Federal Justice Center report, which was the first of its kind, found that about 12 percent of youths in state-run, private, or local facilities experienced some form of childhood sexual abuse. The survey used information collected from an anonymous computerized questionnaire from June 2008 through April 2009.

The victims reported abuse at the hands of both juvenile detention center employees and fellow inmates. About 10 percent of the victims implicated abuse at the hands of juvenile detention center staff with nearly all of those allegations against female staffers. Six facilities had extremely high rates of sexual abuse in that at least three out of ten juvenile inmates reported some form of sexual abuse. Those facilities include Pendelton Juvenile Correctional Facility in Indiana. Another seven detention centers showed nearly equivalent levels of sexual abuse. The report found that staff sexual misconduct was markedly higher at state run facilities and that smaller facilities tended to have fewer reports of victimization. In commenting on the study Indiana Department of Corrections spokesman Doug Garrison said, “There’s no such thing as consensual sex in a correctional facility, certainly not in a juvenile facility.”

If you or someone that you know has been the victim of childhood sexual abuse or if you have any questions regarding childhood sexual abuse and would like to speak with an attorney, please click here.

January 15, 2010

Sexual Abuse Victims’ Support Group Calls for Berwyn Investigation of Former Priest

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) has asked the City of Berwyn to investigate an employee of the Berwyn Cultural Center located at 6420 W. 16th St. Former priest Frank Paduch, who was accused of sexually abusing five boys in the 1980s, has come under fire for his failure to disclose certain information when he was hired by the city. According to reports, a 1997 civil lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court alleges that Paduch sexually abused a St. Rita High School student while he was working for the school. The lawsuit settled for an undisclosed amount two years later. SNAP further reports that an additional four alleged victims have come forward through an attorney, but none have filed a lawsuit against Paduch.

SNAP submitted a letter to the Berwyn City Hall on Thursday asking the village to investigate the circumstances surrounding Paduch’s hiring. SNAP was reportedly made aware of Paduch’s current employment situation as a result of citizen reports. The Berwyn Cultural Center is located across the street from Lincoln Middle School. Berwyn has said that it will respond to the letter today.

Victims of clergy sex abuse often suffer devastating psychological and physiological injuries as a result of the trauma. If you have any questions regarding clergy sexual abuse or would otherwise like to speak with an attorney to learn your rights, please click here.

January 8, 2010

Chicago Area Priest Plunges from Balcony Following Sexual Abuse Accusations

A Chicago area priest accused of sexual abuse reportedly jumped from a 20 foot high church balcony yesterday as a sexual abuse investigation regarding his conduct heated up. Rev. Alejandro Flores, a 37 year old parochial vicar of the Holy Family Parish in Shorewood, IL, was reportedly found unconscious lying between the pews of St. Mary’s Camelite Church in Joliet, IL. The priest survived the fall but has suffered traumatic head injuries. He remains hospitalized in the intensive care unit at Silver Cross Hospital in Joliet as of yesterday. The priest is listed in critical but stable condition.

Flores had just been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation into allegations that the priest had sexually abused a thirteen year old boy. Both Kane County and the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) are currently investigating the sexual abuse allegations against the priest. Flores had been placed in diocese residence in Joliet where he was to be closely monitored and kept from contact with children. Detectives were on the way to Joliet to interview the priest regarding the sexual abuse allegations when he fled the Joliet diocese residence. He was found at St. Mary’s, which is a boarded up and vacant church, about three and half hours after he went missing. Flores was reportedly carrying a jacket, cell phone, glasses, a large knife and a bottle of liquor when he fell from the balcony. The sexual abuse investigation is ongoing.

Sexual abuse victims often do not know where to turn or what to do. If you have been the victim of sexual abuse or would otherwise like to speak with an attorney, please click here.

November 14, 2009

Chicago Nurse Charged with Sexual Abuse of Patient

A Chicago man was indicted this Monday after being charged with sexually assaulting a patient at Weiss Memorial Hospital on Chicago's north side. James Whittington, a 48 year-old resident of the 5900 block of North Kostner Ave., was charged with two counts of criminal sexual abuse and one count of unlawful restraint according to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office. Bond was set at $200,000.00. Whittington was employed as a nurse with the Chicago hospital. His arraignment is set for November 16th.

The alleged abuse occurred on February 12th around 6:45 p.m. at the Weiss emergency room. Whittington is accused of drugging the victim with morphine and then performing sexual acts upon her while she was sedated. The victim allegedly awoke while she was being fondled. Weiss Memorial Hospital has reportedly suspended the employee pending the outcome of the sexual abuse charges. Police are still investigating the incident.

Depending on the circumstances of the sexual abuse, the Hospital may be liable for the injuries suffered by the victim. If you have been the victim sexual abuse or assault, you should retain a lawyer experienced in handling these sensitive and difficult matters. For more information on obtaining an attorney, click here.

November 12, 2009

Chicago Priest Accused of Sexual Abuse Removed from Ministry

A Chicago priest that has been accused of sexual abuse was removed from the ministry earlier this month. The Rev. Edward Maloney, a retired priest that served at St. Mark’s Roman Catholic Church at 1048 N. Campbell in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood, was forced out of the ministry after the Archdiocese’s independent review board determined that credible evidence of abuse existed. The removal of Maloney may have occurred earlier but for a slander lawsuit that had been filed in a separate unrelated case.

The sexual abuse allegations against Maloney were originally levied sometime in late 2007 when a former parishioner of St. Mark’s contacted the Diocese. The victim was weary of testifying in support those allegations because another priest, Rev. Robert Stepek, sued two brothers in November of 2006 after they came forward with sexual abuse allegations against him. The threat of a slander lawsuit was enough to keep Maloney’s accuser from coming forward against the priest. This threat was lifted in June when a state appellate court ruled that Stepek could not sue victims for statements made in cooperation with church investigators.

While the appellate court ruling was a victory for victims’ rights groups, the gap between the initial sexual abuse allegations and the board’s finding gave Maloney time to formulate his defense. Victims’ rights groups claim that this allowed Maloney to intimidate victims and formulate alibis. The victim’s original reluctance in coming forward was validated by the fact that the victim’s name was somehow leaked leading to vilification in the community. For a detailed Chicago Tribune article on the interplay between the threat of slander and victims’ rights click here.

Victims’ rights attorney Joe Klest is handling the Maloney sexual abuse victim’s case. He has fought on behalf of abuse victims for nearly 30 years and his work on this particular matter can be accessed on the above Chicago Tribune link. If you have any questions about victims’ rights in Illinois or would like to speak to attorney Klest, please click here.

October 9, 2009

Illinois Supreme Court Decision Deals Blow to Sexual Abuse Victims’ Rights

The Illinois Supreme Court has limited the viability of many sexual abuse claims with its September 24th decision in Doe v. Diocese of Dallas. The issue before the Court was whether the 2003 amendments to the Childhood Sexual Abuse could be applied to a claim that had expired under the statutory framework that was in place before the amendments were enacted. The Doe case involved a claim of sexual abuse by a Catholic priest that allegedly occurred in 1984. The victim’s claim expired prior to the amendments to the statute in 2003 under the old version of the statute. However, the 2003 statute extended the limitations periods for the filing of sexual abuse lawsuits. When considered under the framework of the 2003 amendments, the sexual abuse victim would be able to pursue a claim. By its plain language, the 2003 amendments apply to ‘all actions pending on July 24, 2003, as well as all actions commenced on or after that date.’ The victim’s lawsuit was filed after these amendments were enacted.

The Illinois Supreme Court determined that the 2003 amendments, which extended the limitations periods for asserting a sexual abuse claim, could not be retroactively applied. In doing so the Court said, "once a statute of limitations has expired, the defendant has a vested right to invoke the bar of the limitations period as a defense to a cause of action. That right cannot be taken away by the legislature without offending the due process protections of our state's constitution." In other words, the Illinois Supreme Court decided that applying the amendments to all actions commenced on or after 2003, as intended by the legislature, would violate the Illinois Constitution. This decision meant that the sexual abuse victim in Doe could not pursue his sexual abuse case.

The decision will defeat some otherwise meritorious sexual abuse claims in Illinois. However, there are still avenues of relief open to sexual abuse victims in Illinois. The Klest Law Firm wrote a ‘friend of the court’ brief on behalf of sexual abuse victims in the Doe case. Additionally, experienced victims’ rights attorney Joseph G. Klest helped draft the amendments that were at issue in the Doe case. If you have any questions about the victims’ rights in Illinois or would like to speak to an experienced sexual abuse attorney, please click here.

July 1, 2009

Former Chicago High School Basketball Coach Convicted of Sexual Abuse

A former Chicago High School basketball coach was convicted on four counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse following a bench trial yesterday. George Turner III, a former coach at Walter Payton College Preparatory High School in Chicago, now faces up to seven years in prison for each count and must register as a sex offender. Turner was acquitted on charges of sexual assault.

During the course of the trial, the 46 year old Turner testified that he had sexually explicit conversations with two female students, one of which he supplied with sex toys and condoms. He also admitted that he participated in sexually charged conversations regarding the girls' sexual activity. One of the victims testified that Turner took her to a sex shop in the Lakeview area and then to a parking lot near Belmont harbor where he had her perform a sex act. Turner is accused of sexually assaulting the girl on several occasions between December 2007 and February 2008. Prosecutors allege that he also fondled the other victim in his office in February of 2008. Turner was fired from his position as the boys basketball coach on February 29, 2008, after the girls came forward.

Cook County Circuit Judge James Linn was quoted, “I do believe there was some touching that occurred that was criminal in nature.” Turner, who had no previous criminal history, must now register as a sex offender.

Sexual abuse victims are often reluctant to come forward and expose predators. If you have been a victim of sexual abuse and want to know your rights click here.

May 29, 2009

Suburban Chicago Teacher Charged with Sexual Abuse

A Maine East High School teacher faces sexual abuse charges stemming from an ongoing relationship she had with a former student. Jennifer Espinosa, a 38 year old resident of Park Ridge, IL, appeared in Skokie Bond Court on Monday where she was charged with two counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault. Aggravated criminal sexual assault is a Class 2 felony carrying a sentence that ranges from three to seven years. Espinosa is a science and special education teacher at Maine East High School in Park Ridge, Illinois.

Espinosa was arrested last Saturday night when Cook County Sheriff’s police approached a vehicle parked in the Golf Terrace Apartments in the 9600 block of North Golf Terrace in Des Plaines, IL. The 2009 Honda Pilot reportedly smelled of marijuana. Police discovered Espinosa in the car along with a 16 year old boy and a 22 year old man. The 22 year old, Alejandro Landi of Niles, was charged with misdemeanor drug possession. During subsequent questioning Espinosa admitted that she was a former teacher and mentor of the 16 year old boy in the car. She revealed that over the course of the previous eight months she had sex with the boy in her car, at her house and at the school. She reportedly admitted to police that she ‘loves’ the former 16 year-old student with whom she had an ongoing sexual relationship. Espinosa claims that the relationship began only after the boy was expelled. Both the teenager and the male passenger are suspected gang members.

If you have been the victim of sexual abuse, you should retain a lawyer experienced in handling these sensitive and difficult matters. For more information on obtaining an attorney click here.

February 9, 2009

Palatine, IL, YMCA Swim Instructor Civil Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Names Chicago YMCA as Defendant

A civil lawsuit filed in Chicago’s Richard J. Daley Center today relating to the alleged sexual abuse of minor girls by an Inverness, IL, swim instructor has named the YMCA as a defendant as reported by the Daily Herald and ABC.The accused swim instructor, Kevin Skowron, already faces criminal charges of predatory sexual assault and aggravated sexual abuse for his involvement with five girls between the ages of four and nine. The civil lawsuit alleges that the YMCA allowed for the continued employment of Skowron despite the fact that the outfit was aware of the prior sexual misconduct allegations levied against the instructor. Joseph G. Klest, lawyer for the Jane Doe Plaintiff, says that the lawsuit should send a clear message to institutional entities that allegations of employee sexual misconduct must be taken very seriously. The YMCA could be held liable for significant civil damages in continuing to employ Skowron.

The civil lawsuit comes on the heels of a new set of criminal charges against Skowron. According to the Cook County State’s Attorney Office, the former swim instructor was charged with predatory sexual assault and two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse on Thursday January 22nd. Skowron already faces similar charges filed on November 24, 2008, for alleged inappropriate contact with a 7 year-old girl. According to a YMCA spokesperson, Skowron remained employed while the incidents were being investigated. The agency fired Skowron on November 24, 2008, the same day the initial charges were filed. Five young girls in total have now made allegations against Skowron.

Attorney Klest discusses the lawsuit on ABC news: http://showroom.multivisioninc.com/sharePlay.do


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November 25, 2008

Inverness, IL, YMCA Swim Instructor Charged with Sexually Abusing Two Young Girls

Kevin Skowron, a 22 year-old Chicago area man, was charged Monday with predatory criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual assault stemming from two separate incidents at the Buehler YMCA in Palatine, Illinois. Bail was set at $350,000 for Skowron, a resident of the 1800 block of West Ashbury Lane in Inverness. Skowron is accused of sexually molesting a 4 year-old girl last Saturday and a 7 year-old girl last month while working as a swim instructor at the suburban Chicago YMCA. Skowron has been a swimming instructor with the YMCA since 2004.

Authorities were led to Skowron following a physical altercation between Skowron and the father of a 4 year-old girl. According to reports, the 4 year-old told her mother that Skowron had initiated inappropriate physical contact during her swimming lesson. The girl’s mother informed YMCA officials of the incident and called the father who was at home. At that point, the father allegedly drove to the YMCA to confront Skowron and punched him in the face. No charges have been filed against the girl’s father.

The incident does not represent the only time that Skowron has been the subject of a molestation accusation. A 7 year-old girl claimed that Skowron made inappropriate physical advances toward her during a swim lesson last October. The girl’s parents subsequently informed the YMCA which called the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). According to Palatine police Commander Kurt Schroeder, the incident prompted the Palatine Police Department to begin an investigation with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office Child Advocacy Center. During the course of this investigation, the 7 year-old was unable identify Skowron. If the YMCA knew or should have known of the prior allegations against Skowron they could be liable for significant civil damages. The Palatine Police Department is currently working with the State's Attorney's Office to determine if there are any other victims.

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August 23, 2006

Diocese Named In Sex-Abuse Lawsuit - Our Successes

The Herald News
Tuesday, December 22, 1998

A former altar boy at St. Mary's Church in Park Forest filed a lawsuit against the Diocese of Joliet on Monday alleging that a priest sexually molested him in 1980.

J. K., now 34, and living in Vernon Hills claims in the suit that the Rev. Richard Ruffalo, who died nearly two years ago, had sexually abused him between March and June, 1980.

The suit was filed in Cook County against the diocese and its trust as well as Bishop Joseph Imesch and St. Mary's Catholic Church in Park Forest. J.K. is seeking damages in excess of $100,000.

"In as much as the priest in question died in February of 1997, the diocese is unable to make any specific response. In addition, it is a matter of policy that the diocese does not offer public comments on any pending lawsuits. However, we are certainly concerned about J.K.' welfare," Sister Judith Davies, chancellor of the diocese, said in a written statement.

Ruffalo had worked in the diocese many years and served in various parishes including St. Raymond's and Holy Cross in Joliet and St. Mary's in Park Forest. When he died a news story at the time indicated that many of his former students and colleagues attended the funeral service.

J.K.'s attorney, Joseph Klest, acknowledged that some may see the suit as the defamation of someone who cannot defend his reputation. But Klest said it wasn't until J.K. went into therapy in February, 1997, that he realized many of his problems related to the sexual abuse that occurred to him when he was a young teen.

"He was willing to put his name on it," Klest said, referring to the lawsuit. Some people need to fight back."

Klest also noted that the statute of limitations likely will be an issue raised by the diocese. However, he noted that the law states suits may be filed "two years from when he knew or should have known he was abused" and that the abuse was the cause of the problems.

Klest said that as a result of therapy, J.K. had come to realize that the sexual abuse was behind many of his problems. The lawsuit claims that J.K. became a drug, alcohol and gambling addict as a result of the sexual abuse. Klest noted that J.K. is now getting his life together, is married with a family and has a job.

J.K. indicated in the suit that he was being groomed for the priesthood and went on trips with clergy to various locales. On one trip J.K. maintains he saw a priest other than Ruffalo attempt to molest another boy in a hot tub in Las Vegas.

The suit also maintains that the bishop and specific priests should have known of the abuse and had a responsibility to stop it.

Various suits have been filed in recent years alleging sexual abuse by priests in the Joliet Diocese. Some have been settled or dismissed and others are still pending in court.

No court date has been scheduled in J.K.'s suit. The diocese likely will have a chance to file its response in writing before a hearing is scheduled.

August 19, 2006

Case Will Test Statute Of Limitations On Sex Charges - Our Successes

Chicago Tribune
Wednesday, January 13, 1999

Two women from Aurora say they were molested when they were young girls by a Roman Catholic brother formerly with the Society of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, a mission in Aurora.

Do they have a right to sue for damages two or three decades after the alleged abuse occurred?

That is a question Brother Richard Kuhl wants the Illinois Supreme Court to answer.

Attorneys for Kuhl late last week filed an affidavit indicating their intent to appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court a ruling by the Illinois Appellate Court reinstating a civil lawsuit brought against Kuhl by the women in Kane County Circuit Court.

Kuhl, 72, has not been charged with a crime.

Since the civil allegations of sexual molestation were leveled against him, he has been transferred to a mission in Center Valley, PA.

The two women, now 34 and 32, filed separate lawsuits against Kuhl in 1996, alleging that he molested them and caused them psychological damage. The 32-year-old woman alleged that Kuhl molested her on and off from the time she was 10 until she was 15.

The 34-year-old woman alleged the abuse occurred over a seven-year period beginning when she was 5.

A Kane County Circuit judge dismissed the lawsuits in 1997, saying the women's claims had expired under the statute of limitations.

But in a ruling issued last month, the 2nd District Appellate Court reinstated their cases. The court, which hears appeals from throughout northern Illinois except those from Cook County, ruled a 1991 law that extended the statute of limitations in sexual abuse cases makes the women's lawsuit timely.

In June, the 2nd District reinstated another case against Kuhl brought by yet another woman, for similar reasons.

Both rulings not only reversed the circuit judge's decision but seemed to conflict with the 2nd District's earlier interpretation of the statute of limitations question.

In a 1996 ruling, the 2nd District Appellate Court interpreted existing laws as mandating that the statute of limitations in child sexual abuse cases begins when a victim reaches 18, and ends when they turn 20.

Appeals courts in other jurisdictions had ruled differently, applying a common law theory to extend the statute of limitations.

Recognizing that sometimes victims of childhood sexual abuse recall the abuse years later it takes place, the common law, which was made into a state law in 1991, gives victims two years from the time they remember they were abused to bring a claim.

In theory, the law allows people of any age to bring an action for damages against their alleged abuser.

Lawyers for Kuhl said they hope the Illinois Supreme Court could clarify exactly when the statute of limitation expires. Can the 1991 law extending the statute of limitations apply to victims who turned 20 before 1991?

"We need to clarify what the rule is in Illinois," said Julie Trester, one of the lawyers representing Kuhl. "The Supreme Court takes cases to provide guidance on issues of importance, and this is an issue of great importance to a number of courts in Illinois."

Joseph Klest, the attorney representing a total of five women in claims of sexual abuse against Kuhl, applauded the appeal's court ruling.

"Victims of childhood sexual abuse at age 18 and 19 do not draw the connection between what's wrong in their lives and the sexual abuse [they endured]," Klest said. "I've probably consulted with 80 or 90 victims of childhood sexual abuse who were investigating whether there was anything they could do about it. Less than 10 of them were under the age of 28. For whatever reason, persons in their late 20s and early teens don't deal with this or know how to deal with it."

July 15, 2006

Sexual Abuse By Teacher or Coach

If you were abused by a teacher or coach or any other person that was entrusted with your care when you were a child, or if it is your child who is the sex abuse victim, you may be able to sue the perpetrator and the organization or institution that allowed the abuse to take place.

Joseph Klest, Attorney at Law is a Chicago child sexual abuse attorney who has helped many sex abuse victims recover damages for their sex abuse injuries in Lake County, DuPage County, Cook County, Will County, and elsewhere in Illinois and the United States.

Attorney has represented more than 100 sex abuse victims who were raped or molested by trusted adults and has counseled hundreds of sex abuse victims. Attorney Klest would be happy to offer you a free consultation to discuss your case so you can explore your legal options.

Sex Abuse by "Authority Figures" and Institutions

Teachers, coaches, counselors, and daycare workers are entrusted with the care, mentoring, or education of children. Their responsibilities essentially place them in a figure of authority over children, who are supposed to obey these authority figures while under their care.

When an athletic coach, teacher, tutor, camp counselor, school counselor, or childcare professional violates that trust by sexually abusing a boy or girl, the physical, emotional, and psychological injuries sustained by the abuse victim can last a lifetime.

Child sex abuse is a form of sexual assault and is a crime. A teacher, counselor, or coach that rapes, sodomizes, inappropriately touches, or sexually hugs or kisses a child is abusing his or her power as an authority figure and violating that child's rights. Chicago Attorney Klest can evaluate your case for you and determine whether you have grounds to file a lawsuit against the perpetrator and any other liable parties.

Mr. Klest knows how to properly investigate your sex abuse case and determine if a school, daycare center, summer camp, day camp, church, or another institution or organization acted negligently by not taking the proper measures to make sure that sexual contact between students and their teachers, coaches, or counselors would not take place. An institution or organization that fails to protect a child from abuse can be named as a defendant in a child sex abuse lawsuit.

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July 8, 2006

Sexual Abuse By Clergy

For more than 15 years, Chicago Sex Abuse Attorney Joseph Klest has represented clients that were sexually abused by priests or other clergy members. In 1991, he handled the first clergy child sex abuse lawsuit against a clergy member of the Catholic Church. Since then, he has represented over 100 sex abuse victims who have sought damages for their abuse injuries.

Attorney Klest is a Chicago personal injury attorney who is nationally recognized for his work in helping clergy sex abuse victims recover compensation for their sex abuse injuries caused by Roman Catholic priests and bishops, including clergy members from the different dioceses in Cook County, Lake County, Will County, and DuPage County, such as the Archdiocese of Chicago, the Catholic Diocese of Rockford, the Diocese Of Joliet, and the Diocese of Peoria.

Sexual Abuse Lawsuits Against Clergy and Church

If you or your child was molested or raped by a priest, bishop, or another member of the Catholic Church, you are entitled to compensation for injuries, pain, and suffering. Not only can you sue the perpetrator for the damages sustained from the sexual abuse, but you may also be able to sue the diocese or church where the abuse took place if the institution acted negligently or failed to act at all to prevent the abuse.

Church members often view clergy members as authority figures who are representatives of God. It is not uncommon for parents to automatically believe that priests, bishops, and archbishops are trustworthy and allow them to spend time alone with their children.

The number of known cases of boys and girls abused by clergy in the United States is in the thousands. Many of these children were sexually abused multiple times by a priest who had access to them on a regular basis. There are countless of other cases that have gone reported.

In many cases, evidence shows that the Catholic Church knew about the abuse but did nothing to prevent the clergy members from abusing more victims. Some priests were merely relocated to different dioceses, after reports of abuse surfaced, where they would abuse more innocent boys or girls.

Institutions and organizations have a legal obligation to make sure that the people that work for or represent them do not sexually abuse or assault anyone. Failure to do so is considered negligence and the organization or institution can be held liable when a representative or employee sexually assaults an adult or child.

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June 24, 2006

Sexual Abuse By Family Member

Joseph Klest, Attorney at Law has helped more than 75 victims that have been sexually abused by family members receive compensation for their injuries. Attorney Joseph Klest is nationally recognized for his commitment to helping sex abuse victims recover personal injury compensation. He is sensitive to the injuries and trauma that can be sustained by someone who has been sexually abused, and he offers zealous and compassionate representation to his sex abuse clients.

Attorney Klest has law offices in Chicago and Schaumburg, Illinois, and he represents sexual abuse victims throughout Chicago, Will County, Cook County, DuPage County, Lake County, elsewhere in Illinois, and throughout the United States. He has represented over 100 sex abuse abuse victims in their lawsuits against their abusers and the organizations and institutions that allowed the abuse to take place. He would like to offer you a confidential, free consultation to discuss your case.

Incest

Sexual abuse by a family member is also known as incest. Child sexual abuse by a relative occurs when an infant, boy, or girl, is taken advantage of sexually by his or her mother, father, uncle, aunt, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, step-relative, grandmother, grandfather, or cousin.

Touching a child's genitals, genital penetration, inappropriately touching any part of a child's body, oral-genital contact, anal penetration, hugging or kissing of a sexual nature, showing pornography to a child, and exposing a child to inappropriate sexual activity are all forms of childhood sexual abuse. Childhood sexual abuse by relatives occurs in families from all socioeconomic, religious, and ethnic backgrounds.

The emotional, physical, and psychological injuries caused by sexual abuse are life-altering and can last a lifetime. Medical costs, therapy bills, and other associated costs can accrue as a victim of child abuse seeks help to recover. You deserve compensation for the pain and suffering that you experienced.

Compassionate and Confidential Representation

Sexual abuse by anyone—especially a family member—creates a very delicate situation for the abuse victim, which is why it is so important to work with a child sex abuse attorney who will allow the victim to stay in control of the pace of the claims process. It can be devastating for a child to be sexually abused by anyone—especially a trusted relative.

Many cases go unreported because children are often too ashamed, confused, or scared and are unable to report the incident A child may also subconsciously choose to "repress" or forget the memory of being abused, and it can be years before he or she remembers or acknowledges the incident(s) of sexual abuse. In 2003, Attorney Klest coauthored Illinois's 2003 Child Protection Act, which extended the statute of limitations and in certain circumstances gave sexual abuse victims more time to claim damages against their abusers.

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February 17, 2006

Childhood Sexual Abuse

Sexually abusing a child is an insidious act that can affect an abuse victim mentally, emotionally, and physically for the rest of his or her life. Often, these incidents go unreported for years because a child is too ashamed to report the incident(s) or has blocked out what happened. It can be years before he or she remembers the abuse.

Chicago Personal Injury Attorney Joseph Klest is nationally recognized for his work helping victims of child sexual abuse obtain compensation for the injuries they have sustained from being sexually abused as children. He has represented over a hundred child sex abuse victims and counseled hundreds of people that have suffered because they were abused by a family member, a stranger, a family friend, a priest, a teacher, a counselor, or another trusted adult in Chicago, in cities throughout Cook County, DuPage County, Will County, and Lake County, or elsewhere in Illinois and the United States. Mr. Klest is a member of the Trial Lawyers of America-Childhood Sexual Abuse Litigation Group and the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault.

Attorney Joseph Klest represents childhood sexual abuse clients who wish to file a personal injury lawsuit because have experienced at least one of the following:

Sexual Abuse by a Family Member
Sexual Abuse by Clergy
Sexual Abuse by a Teacher or Coach

Illinois's 2003 Child Protection Act
Mr. Klest is a fierce advocate of the right of sex abuse victims to receive compensation. He is the coauthor of Illinois's 2003 Child Protection Act, which extended the statute of limitations for victims to file personal injury lawsuits against their sexual abusers. Under the revised act, children and adults that were sexually abused as children have 10 years from the time they turned 18 or within 5 years from the time that they realized that their injuries were caused by sexual abuse to file a lawsuit.

Sex Abuse Injuries and Damages

Mr. Klest is a child sexual abuse lawyer who is sensitive to the physical, psychological, and emotional injuries that can be sustained by sex abuse victims. Vaginal, cervical or anal injuries, STD's, bite marks, scratches, and lesions are among the injuries that can be sustained by someone who was sexually abused, sexually assaulted, raped, molested, or forced into child prostitution or pornography.

Loss of trust, sexual problems, depression, problems forming intimate relationships, prostitution, promiscuity, eating disorders, alcoholism, drug abuse, suicide, and post-traumatic stress disorder are some of the mental and emotional injuries that can affect a person because he or she was sexually abused as a child.

An adult that was sexually abused as a child may end up spending thousands of dollars on years of therapy and other forms of counseling to heal themselves. If you or someone you love was sexually abused as a child, you have a right to sue your abuser for personal injury compensation.

Compassionate and Confidential Legal Representation
Attorney Klest knows that sex abuse is very sensitive matter, and he will represent you and your case with compassion and with the utmost confidentiality. He will work hard to help you obtain the maximum recovery possible for your injuries.

To schedule your free consultation with Joseph Klest, Attorney at Law, contact us online or call (312) 527-2779, (630) 529-7843, or (847) 969-9510. You will only pay for our services if we obtain your recovery. We have law offices in Chicago and Schaumburg, Illinois.

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