A Michigan student sex assault lawyer can help if you or your child were the victim of a sexual assault or rape at school. The number of students sexually assaulted at schools is staggering. This includes public schools and private schools, K-12 throughout Michigan.
A school can be held liable for the physical injuries and mental anguish caused by these horrific attacks. These incidents are often preventable with proper supervision and security protocols. Civil lawsuits can be filed demanding compensation and may include Title IX claims sex assault victims.
The Buckfire Law Firm represents student sex assault victims to seek justice and win monetary compensation. These lawsuits help the victims achieve peace of mind and demand accountability from the assaulter and the school that failed to provide the necessary protection. Holding school systems liable in these cases also helps to prevent other students from sexual assaults in the future.
- Common Types of Student Sexual Assaults & Rape Cases
- Can a Student Sue the School for a Sex Assault
- Student Sexual Assaults by Staff Members
- Can a Student Sue for Consensual Sex with a Teacher?
- How Much are Student Sexual Assault Settlements?
What is considered a sexual assault?
In Michigan, a sexual assault is “when a person forces or pressures another person into unwanted sexual contact. This can be unwanted sexual penetration of the body or unwanted touching of private parts of the body.” Some perpetrators force unwanted sexual contact when a victim is physically helpless due to being under the influence of alcohol or narcotics, or when asleep or unconscious.
Michigan law refers to sexual assault as “Criminal Sexual Conduct.” The criminal statute provides specific details to classify the degree of a sexual assault. Clearly, rape is the most serious offense.
The Michigan Penal Code has several classifications for a criminal sexual assault. A criminal charge of first-degree sexual misconduct is the most serious offense and involves sexual penetration under several scenarios that apply to students. These include if:
- The perpetrator is in a position of authority over the victim, like a school teacher.
- The perpetrator is a teacher, substitute teacher, or administrator at a school.
- The perpetrator is an employee or contractual service provider as the school or the school district.
There are lesser criminal charges of criminal sexual conduct. These include unwanted sexual touching for te purposes of sexual gratification or arousal, or for purposes of revenge or to anger and humiliate the other person. The police and prosecutor determine which criminal charge applies to each case.
Common Types of Student Sexual Assaults & Rape Cases
There are many types of student sex assaults and student rape cases. These include a student sexually assaulted or raped by a:
- Janitor or maintenance person
- Sports coach
- Bus driver
- Band leader
Can a Student Sue the School for a Sex Assault
The school is responsible for the safety of its students. Required safety measures can include installing security cameras, proper lighting outside the building, and other safety measures in its hallways, classrooms, and outdoor areas. Unused rooms should be locked and secured to prevent them from being used as a sex assault location. Outdoor areas, like sports fields and complexes, should also be secured.
In addition to suing the perpetrator, there are many situations that a student can sue the school for a sex assault or rape. In most cases, the perpetrator will not have insurance available to pay a settlement to the victim. As such, it is necessary to pursue claims against other responsible parties who have the resources, insurance, and ability to compensate a victim.
Student sex assaults occur inside the school building or outside on athletic fields, parking lots, or other locations. They can also occur at overnight camps away from the school and on school trips. Quite often, a person responsible for supervising a student is the one who commits the sexual assault.
Students Sexually Assaulted by Other Students
If a student sexually assaulted another student while at school, the school district may also be accountable. The evidence must show the school administration knew or should have known of it prior due to similar misconduct and failed to take preventive action after the prior misconduct.
Student Sexual Assaults by Staff Members
The school district may be liable for sex assaults on a student by a teacher, janitor, coach, or other staff member. The perpetrator may have a history of similar incidents at previous schools and even outside the school setting. The district has a duty to do background and criminal history checks on all staff members that will be present on a school campus and have the ability to interact with students.
In addition, the school must carefully supervise staff members and act promptly if suspicious behavior is observed or even suspected. The failure to intervene and prevent an assault from a suspected staff member can provide the basis for suing the school district in a student sex assault lawsuit.
Can a Student Sue for Consensual Sex with a Teacher?
You can sue even if it appears that sex with a teacher or other adult staff member is deemed consensual. Teachers and other adults often groom students for sex, especially if the student is vulnerable or experiencing problems at home or in social settings. Even if the relationship appears consensual, it is still a crime and in violation of the Michigan sexual conduct statute.
Our award-winning sex assault lawyers will investigate whether you can sue the school district if your child was raped or the victim of sex abuse by another student. Call us now to start your case.
How Much are Student Sexual Assault Settlements?
There is no specific settlement amount for a student sex assault lawsuit. Every case is unique and the damage amount is different for every child. However, damage awards are often very large due to the permanent and irreparable harm caused to the student.
Compensation is available for psychological damage, mental anguish, and depression. Many students suffer from eating disorders PTSD, and sleep disorders from the abuse. And these problems often continue into adulthood and affect future relationships and even future employment and earnings.
In addition, there is also a medical expense component to these lawsuits. The student may require psychotherapy, counseling, and medications as part of the post-assault treatment plan.
Examples of Michigan Student Sex Assault Settlements
- $800,000 jury verdict for a sexual harassment lawsuit alleging Title IX claims.
- $695,000 settlement against the Novi, MI School District on behalf of a 13-year-old autistic boy who was repeatedly sexually harassed by a much larger student.
- $600,000 settlement for a girl sexually assaulted in the band room by another student. The school failed to investigate the assault and protect the student.
- $500,000 settlement against the Lansing School District for a boy bullied at school. He committed suicide because of the unchecked harassment.
- $225,000 settlement for a female student raped on school grounds by another student. The suit alleged Title IX violations for deliberate indifference to sexual harassment.
Contact Our Michigan Student Sexual Assault Lawyers
A student who was sexually assaulted or raped at school needs a top-rated lawyer fighting for justice. The top-rated lawyers at The Buckfire Law Firm will hold responsible parties accountable for the harm caused to the student and demand the maximum compensation allowed by law.
Contact our award-winning law firm today. We charge no lawyer fees unless you win a settlement.
And it costs no money to start your case!
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