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Coaches are meant to be pillars of encouragement, guidance and inspiration to the children in their care. Sadly, there are coaches who would rather abuse their positions of power to take advantage of vulnerable youth and commit unspeakable crimes. If you or your child is a survivor of sexual abuse by a coach in Kansas, our attorneys at DRZ Law are here to help.
Our sexual assault lawyers are well-versed in the emotional harm a victim of sexual trauma suffers. We have extensive courtroom experience specific to this practice area and have successfully collected millions of dollars on behalf of our clients. We are here to help and protect your family during this difficult time.
Sports and athletic training present many opportunities for coaches and team leaders to take advantage of players. Most parents trust the care of their children to coaches implicitly. However, one-on-one training sessions, physical exercises or rehabilitation, locker room environments, games and events away from home, and the mental strain of competitive sports can all increase the likelihood of a player being sexually assaulted or attacked by a coach.
Sexual abuse or assault by a coach refers to any type of sexual behavior or contact with a minor by a coach or authority figure in the sport. It can refer to sexual activity by force, coercion, intimidation or fraud, as well as voluntary sex acts with a minor who is under the age of 16. This is the age of consent in Kansas, making it against the law to engage in any sexual relationship with a minor under the age of 16. Coach sexual abuse can take the form of inappropriate touching, kissing, groping, hugging, penetration, rape or statutory rape.
Sexual assault or abuse by a coach, volunteer, staff member, sports doctor, physical therapist, parent, teacher or another sports organization figure can pervade any type of sport in Kansas. Any organized sporting team, group or event can place vulnerable children in danger of sexual assault. This includes school sports, professional sports, baseball, basketball, football, hockey, gymnastics, figure skating, martial arts, wrestling, swimming and volleyball.
As the parent of a child who is involved in sports, you may be able to detect early signs of coach sexual misconduct. You may notice signs of grooming, for example, such as a coach lavishing special attention or gifts on your child, promising to get your child to the next level of the sport, or finding reasons to be with your child alone or unsupervised. If sexual abuse has already occurred, your child may show physical or behavioral signs, such as:
Pay attention to your child and check in often to see how he or she is doing. If you suspect sexual abuse, tell your child that he or she can tell you anything and will not be in trouble. Explain that you can help protect your child from the abuser. Then, call the police to report your suspicions. Report the incident to the sports organization, school or after-school program, as well. Next, reach out to an attorney who is experienced in handling coach sexual abuse cases for assistance filing a claim.
Child sexual assault is more than just a criminal offense in Kansas. It is also grounds to file a civil lawsuit against the perpetrator and/or institution that allowed the abuse to take place. While a criminal case can punish a defendant for committing this terrible crime, only a civil case can provide complete justice. A civil lawsuit can hold multiple parties legally and financially accountable for the crimes committed against your child. It can result in financial compensation to pay for your losses, as well as motivate changes on an institutional level to prevent coach sexual abuse in your community in the future.
Filing a lawsuit against a sports organization, school or another institution for coach sexual abuse can help your family get the justice that you deserve. Institutions are known for harboring abusers, such as schools that protect sex offenders to preserve their own reputations. If a school, athletic team or another organization should have done more to protect your child from coach sexual abuse, you have the right to bring a lawsuit against the entity. An experienced sexual assault attorney may be necessary to help you with the claims process.
Taking on an institution in Kansas requires special knowledge of this type of lawsuit. Institutions will often use a number of tactics to try to avoid liability for what happened and hide information about a sexual assault incident. A lawyer who does not specialize in child sexual abuse and institutional abuse cases will not have the skill or experience to properly handle your claim. Going up against an institution that protected a perpetrator is a legal specialty.
At DRZ Law, our lawyers have spent more than 20 years fighting back against institutions that endanger the welfare of the children in their care. Our practice is dedicated to empowering victims of abuse and their families so that they can heal and change the system for the better. Even if an institution claims legal immunity, we have the knowledge to get around that. We represent clients across the country against schools, sports teams, youth programs, churches and more.
The lawyers at DRZ Law specialize in sexual assault by a coach cases, and have what it takes to help you as the parent of a child who has been harmed while in the care of a trusted sports coach. We are compassionate and experienced attorneys who can go up against any institution in Kansas on your behalf. Discuss your coach sexual abuse case in more detail during a free and confidential case evaluation. Call us at (913) 400-2033 or send us a virtual message and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
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