It is a story we are hearing of more often: foreign camp counselors working at summer camps in the U.S., abusing young, unsuspecting children. By the time the child returns home and the parents learn of the abuse, the counselor has disappeared back to their home country. In other situations, children may be abused by other, older children.
Sexual Abuse in Summer Camps
Kids who are victimized by a sexual predator often don’t know what to do or who to turn to. Especially in an extended stay summer camp situation, where children have no real contact with family members, victims of abuse suffer repeatedly at the hands of sexual predators.
To turn higher profits, camps are increasingly finding camp counselors abroad. Many camps rely on international companies which run supposed background checks on candidates. Sexual predators obtain jobs as camp counselors because of poor investigation practices. Background checks and reference checks, if performed, are not thorough. Valuable information can be lost in translation, especially where camp counselors are found in non-English speaking countries.
Under U.S. tort and negligence laws, agencies and the camps who rely on them can be held liable for negligent hiring or negligent retention. It is not required that a foreign counselor who has abused children be named as a defendant. In addition, failure to have any policies about sex abuse reporting at the camp may also subject a camp to liability.
A child who is abused by a camp counselor, foreign or not, or another camp attendee has the legal right to file a civil lawsuit against the camp and the agency which supplied the counselor. However, each state has specific statute of limitations laws, which limit the time to take action.
More from our Pennsylvania Sex Abuse Victims Legal Rights Law Library:
- Rights of Sexual Abuse Victims in Pennsylvania
- Obtaining Justice in a Sex Abuse Lawsuit Against a School in Pennsylvania
- Pennsylvania Child Sex Abuse Law: The Statute of Limitations
Sexual Abuse Victims Civil Lawyer
Laffey, Bucci & Kent handles civil sexual abuse cases in the Northeast area with offices in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. Attorneys at the firm are licensed in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The firm has the resources and experience to handle sex abuse cases in all states and welcomes calls from local counsel about potential cases.
Firm partner, Brian Kent, is a former sex crimes unit prosecutor who now fights for victims’ rights to obtain justice in civil cases. He is passionate about justice for sex abuse victims and offers a free, confidential consultation to all victims of sex abuse, whether he decides to take their case or not. Click To Call
**This website does not provide legal advice. Every case is unique and it is crucial to get a qualified, expert legal opinion prior to making any decisions about your case. See the full disclaimer at the bottom of this page.
Published: September 30, 2012