Recent additions to the Indiana code may allow your criminal record to be expunged. This can be of great benefit when trying to gain employment. However, there are important details that you should be aware of, such as the fact that all criminal offenses must be expunged at once, because a person only gets one chance at expungments in their lifetime. Therefore, you should have counsel you can trust to ensure that all details are handled properly. Simple expungements start as low as $500. Contact us for a free 20 minute consultation on a possible expungement today!.
A head coach, assistant coach, and athletic director at a Tennessee high school have been charged for failing to report the sexual abuse of four athletes by other athletes. In Indiana, we have trouble convincing the prosecutor to enforce the mandatory reporting laws (in one of our cases, the prosecutor is actually arguing that the information is privileged), but you should know what the law is:
Ind. Code § 31-33-5-1: “In addition to any other duty to report arising under this article, an individual who has reason to believe that a child is a victim of child abuse or neglect shall make a report as required by this article.”
In other words . . .
In Indiana, every adult is a mandatory reporter of child abuse or neglect.
I attended the 2013 annual meeting of USA Speed Skating in Park City, Utah, where sexual abuse was a much-discussed topic, given that Andy Gabel had recently admitted in the Chicago Tribune to molesting two young teammates. Sadly, acting as a typical National Governing Body, USA Speed Skating refused to pass an amendment to their bylaws to bar admitted or criminally convicted child molesters from membership in their organization.
After seeing what has happened in United States Swimming, USA Speed Skating somehow cannot recognize the writing on the wall. By refusing to ban Gabel and other coaches, USA Speed Skating is playing with fire. One noted sex coach, Mike Crowe has left Montana and moved to Canada (http://concussioninc.net/?p=10099).
Saeed and Little, LLP is eager to speak with any athletes who were abused by Mike Crowe or any other USA Speed Skating coach or administrator in the United States or Canada.
We are now litigating cases in other USOC sanctioned sports, namely Taekwondo and Fencing; we are currently seeking other athletes that have been physically and sexual abused by USA TKD and USA Fencing coaches, regardless of the date of the abuse. While older claims may be barred by the statute of limitations in your state, Saeed & Little LLP has attorneys licensed in several U.S. jurisdictions, as well as in Ontario, Canada, where there is no statute of limitations for sexual abuse claims.
Canada appropriately recognizes that victims of childhood sexual abuse take years or decades to come to terms with the emotional and physical traumas resulting from their abuse, thus Canada has no statute of limitations for victims of childhood sexual abuse. (Many US jurisdictions have generous statute of limitations, including AZ, CA, and IL.) If you are or were an athlete in a USOC sport and were abused, even once, in Canada (for example, at a competition), Saeed & Little, LLP is interested in hearing from you. Please call (317) 721-9214 today and ask to speak to one of our Canadian Barristers or solicitors.
At the bottom of just about every rat hole in modern America is an insurance company, and at the bottom of the rat hole of sexual abuse in United States Swimming is the United States Sports Insurance Commission (“USSIC”).
USSIC offered sexual abuse coverage – a $100,000 policy claiming to cover sexual abuse – while at the same time excluding intentional acts. You’re reading that right: USA Swimming literally argued in court that only “accidental” molestations were covered by their sexual misconduct policy. The various lawsuits against USA Swimming were settled before the issue of whether insurance for sexual abuse could only cover “accidental” abuse was resolved by a judge. Click here to see USA Swimming’s “sexual misconduct” policy.
If you have been abused by a United States Swimming Coach, no one in America is more experienced than Jonathan Little and Saeed & Little LLP. Jonathan Little filed the first case against USA Swimming in 2008; that case was the catalyst for major reform and the creation of a Safe Sport program in United States Swimming and the United States Olympic Committee.
For the last 18 months Saeed and Little has been working on increasing public awareness to the dangerous and reckless policies of the Syracuse, New York Dioceses of the Catholic Church. The Syracuse Dioceses has refused to release the name of child molester priest and has even gone so far as to take in known molester priests from across the eastern US. Even more brazenly the Church has interfered with law enforcement investigation by tampering with evidence and scariest of all has actually allowed numerous molester priests to live in a church owned house on Brighton Street in downtown Syracuse.
Tomorrow in my hometown Binghamton, New York the District Attorneys of Central New York will announce that have forced the Church to sign a memorandum of understanding about how the Church will conduct itself going forward with regards to child abuse.
Saeed and Little has filed a class-action lawsuit against Johnson County and Johnson County judges, stating that Johnson County has violated the right to counsel of persons accused of crimes in Johnson County, and that both judges and public defenders have breached their contracts concerning public defender representation. Read more at:
Once again, an Indianapolis coach is in the news for child molestation.
Marvin Sharp, owner of Sharp Gymnastics and an “elite gymnastics coach,” was arrested after the Crimes Against Children unit of the IMPD raided his home Sunday evening. According to wthr.com, Sharp’s “list of accomplishments is long, including USA Artistic Coach of the year [and] USA Gymnastics Elite National Coach of the Year.” According to the USA Gymnastics website, he also coached the 2009 World All Around Champion.
I’m sick for the parents who trusted their sons and daughters to this man, but sadly, I am not surprised by his actions. Although most of my work has focused on abusive coaches in swimming, we know that this happens in every sport. And we know that the NGBs for each different sport know about it, too. It isn’t that coaches have all of a sudden started abusing their athletes — it’s just that they’re starting to get caught.
Although there are very few details about what exactly Marvin Sharp did to get himself arrested for child molestation, we can make some general assumptions. The betrayal that his athletes and their families will feel, particularly those involved, is surely immense. If my child went to Sharp Gymnastics, I would feel not only betrayed, but hurt, pissed off, disgusted, and I’d probably feel a little guilty for not seeing it coming. But this is not the parents’ fault, and it is most certainly not the fault of a child, adolescent, or teenager. This is Marvin Sharp’s fault, and any adults in USA Gymnastics who knew or suspected something, but did nothing because Marvin Sharp produced World Champion gymnasts (and I KNOW they’re out there), are no less culpable.
The psychoanalytic term is sublimation. It means taking a socially unacceptable impulse and turning it into something socially acceptable or productive. A classic example is a child who has an impulse to cut the tails off of dogs might grow up to become a surgeon. Unfortunately, the example I see over and over again is a pedophile who becomes a coach – it’s a socially acceptable way to be around kids.
Every now and then, I Google “coach abuse” to see what comes up. Sadly, a lot has been going on in the last few weeks:
In Cooper City, Florida, a youth baseball coach, David Solomon, has been arrested for lewd and lascivious molestation and sexual assault. “Authorities say two 11-year-old boys have accused the 47-year-old Solomon, their former baseball coach, of molesting them on multiple times.” In 2000, he had been charged with a similar crime, but the charges were later dropped.
In Lancaster, Pennsylvania, “A former diving coach [Patrick Fatta] for two local high schools . . . admitted to having child pornography and sexually abusing a pre-teen.” The child pornography investigation began last year, and it was during the course of that investigation that the “police discovered Fatta touched a girl at his home between 2009 and 2013 . . . .”
Only a few months ago, we first started hearing about Joseph Michael Diaz, a swim coach and teacher who has been molesting young boys for years.
Kids and parents trust coaches. They are particularly vulnerable to that trust, and predatory coaches will always exploit it. It is never acceptable.
- What is a class action?
A class action is a lawsuit in which one person (generally referred to as a class representative) brings claims on behalf of both herself and other similarly situated persons (generally referred to as class members) against a company that has allegedly engaged in a common course of unlawful conduct that impacted the entire group or class.
- Who is included in the suit?
The Court must certify this lawsuit as a class action before class members are included. Kathi Pierce is the proposed class representative, and she seeks to represent the following class: All individuals (1) who have been, are, or will be covered by an Anthem health plan through their employer on or after April 9, 2012; (2) who have or will have a child that is age seven or older; (3) whose child has been, is, or will be diagnosed with a pervasive developmental disorder; and (4) whose child has required, requires, or will require ABA therapy as part of a treatment plan approved by a treating physician.
Individuals must satisfy all four requirements to be class members.
Please note that the lawsuit is against Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. and does not address similar policies by other insurance companies.
- What is Anthem being sued over?
Ms. Pierce alleges that Anthem is violating a law known as the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (29 U.S.C. § 1132(a)) and Indiana’s Autism Coverage Mandate (Indiana Code § 27-8-14.2) by engaging in the following policies and practices:
- Limiting the number of hours of ABA therapy covered for non-medical reasons based on the purported availability of similar services in public schools to children age seven or older.
- Offering ABA therapy providers “take-it-or-leave-it” deals to temporarily and marginally increase the number of hours of therapy authorized in exchange for participants or beneficiaries giving up their right to appeal coverage denials.
- Reviewing and determining medical necessity of ABA therapy with the help of individuals who are not specialists in the treatment of pervasive developmental disorders
- How long will the litigation take?
Class actions are a complex form of litigation and often take several years to complete. Based on recommended timelines in the Southern District of Indiana, this case may be set for trial as late as December 2016. The date for a trial may be further modified (and even further delayed) for various reasons. Ms. Pierce and her counsel will work to prosecute the case in an expeditious manner, but much of the timing is out of their control.
- Will parents be compensated for their child’s lost progress due to the hours cut by Anthem?
Ms. Pierce’s primary goal is to end Anthem’s allegedly unlawful coverage limitations. She is seeking a court order requiring Anthem to cover medically-necessary ABA therapy that is included in a child’s treatment plan, as required by Indiana’s Autism Coverage Mandate. The lawsuit does not seek compensation for a child’s lost progress. We are, however, interested in talking with parents who have paid out-of-pocket for ABA therapy as a result of a coverage denial by Anthem.
- Will the children get therapy paid for by Anthem to make up for the therapy they lost?
As noted above, Ms. Pierce’s primary goal is to have Anthem end its allegedly unlawful coverage limitations and start covering ABA therapy in full for all children who fall within the criteria outlined in the response to Question 2. The lawsuit also seeks to recover any profits Anthem obtained as a result of the allegedly unlawful denials of coverage for ABA therapy. If we are successful in obtaining that relief, proposed class members will be entitled to share in the recovery.
- What if my child is different? Will I still benefit?
Any children who fall within the criteria outlined in the response to Question 2 will be entitled to relief if the Court certifies the case for class action treatment and Ms. Pierce and the class members prevail. Children who do not fall within the criteria outlined in the response to Question 2 will not be entitled to obtain any relief from this lawsuit.
- Do you opt in or are all children affected included?
If the Court certifies the proposed class, all children who fall within the criteria outlined in the response to Question 2 will be included in the case automatically. There is no need to opt in or take any other action at this time. We will post any major updates on this case to http://indianainjuryaccidentlawyers.com/blog/blog-multi-author/