In early March, a 41-year-old former Markham police officer was charged with a federal civil rights violation in connection with the alleged sexual abuse of an individual while acting in his official capacity in 2010. Federal Bureau of Investigation agents reportedly arrested the former officer at his home in suburban Matteson. Following his arrest, the man purportedly pleaded not guilty at the Dirksen Federal Courthouse in Chicago. The man’s arrest was apparently the third time in three months that criminal charges were filed against a current or former Markham law enforcement officer.
In 2010, the Chicago Tribune reported that the former police officer was sued for alleged abuse and other matters a minimum of 13 times in six years. In September 2010, the former police officer was purportedly indicted on federal civil rights charges in connection with another alleged sexual abuse. In addition, the man was supposedly sued an additional four times between 2010 and 2012. The former officer reportedly resigned from his position with the Markham Police Department in 2012.
Although the former police officer accused in this case was criminally charged for the alleged abuse, an individual who suffered sexual abuse may be entitled to recover financial damages by filing a civil lawsuit. In addition to the purported abuser, other entities such as a church, school, hospital, or nursing home may also be held liable for sexual abuse that occurred on the business or organization’s premises if inadequate safety measures led to the abuse.
Sadly, the victims of sexual abuse are reportedly three times more likely to suffer from depression than the average American. In addition, such victims are allegedly four times more likely to consider suicide, 13 times more likely to develop an alcohol problem, and 26 times more likely to abuse drugs. In Illinois and across the nation, an estimated 15 percent of sexual abuse victims are under the age of 12 and 44 percent are under the age of 18. Approximately 93 percent of sexually abused children knew their attacker prior to being abused.
Sexual abuse often results in significant and lifelong emotional and psychological damage. In children, school performance may be affected and dramatic behavioral changes may result. If you or your child was the victim of sexual abuse, you should contact a quality personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.