In February, four civil lawsuits were filed on behalf of anonymous men against a convicted pedophile and two area school districts. The Cook County Circuit Court lawsuits accuse 76-year-old Thomas Hacker of sexually assaulting four boys in the 1970s and 1980s while he was employed by the two school districts. Hacker is currently serving a 100-year-prison sentence in connection with the sexual abuse of 34 other boys.
One of the recently filed cases also names the Burbank Park District where Hacker purportedly worked as a Director as a defendant. In that lawsuit, the unidentified plaintiff claims Hacker molested him on school district property on more than one occasion when he was 10 years old. Three other lawsuits name Chicago Public Schools, where Hacker was reportedly employed as a teacher in an elementary school, as a defendant. All four of the lawsuits allege the two school districts were negligent when they failed to conduct a pre-employment criminal background check on Hacker. Before Hacker moved to Chicago, he was previously convicted of sexual abuse in both Indiana and Mt. Prospect, Illinois. Still, he was allegedly continuously employed by an area school district for approximately 17 years.
In December 2012, a sexual abuse case against Hacker and the Boy Scouts of America was reportedly filed in Cook County. The plaintiff in that case alleges that repressed memories of the purported abuse surfaced after the Boy Scouts released about 1,200 so-called “perversion” files in October. Hacker’s name was allegedly included in the Boy Scouts’ file. That lawsuit is currently still pending.
Unfortunately, the victims of childhood sexual assault do not always come forward immediately due to fear or embarrassment. In the State of Illinois, the statute of limitations for sexual abuse of a child is now longer than for other types of personal injury cases. Since 2011, individuals who were sexually abused while a minor have until their 38th birthday to file an injury lawsuit against their abuser. In addition, a victim of sexual assault who has repressed any memories of the abuse has 20 years from the date he or she realized the abuse occurred to file a lawsuit. Children who were sexually assaulted prior to 2011 may face a reduced statute of limitations. If you were sexually abused as a child, you should contact a skilled personal injury lawyer to discuss your options.
If your child was the victim of sexual assault by a teacher or other trusted adult, do not hesitate to call Abels & Annes, P.C. at (312) 924-7575. At Abels & Annes, P.C., our capable Chicago sexual abuse and assault attorneys are available 24 hours per day, seven days per week to help you file your personal injury case. To speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer today, please contact Abels & Annes, P.C. through the law firm’s website.
Note: Abels & Annes, P.C. does not represent the victims in the above mentioned cases. That being said, we work on sex abuse cases on an ongoing basis. We currently have several sexual abuse claims pending against the Chicago Archdiocese in the Circuit Court of Cook County.
Teen Dies in Tragic Drowning Accident on Premises of College Campus in Chicago, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, February 25, 2013
Proposed Federal Law Would Require Data Recorders in All New Vehicles Sold in Illinois and Nationwide, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, February 21, 2013
Convicted pedophile, employers named in lawsuits, by Ellen Jean Hirst, Chicago Tribune
More Cry Sex Abuse in Case of Convicted Boy Scout Leader, by Lorraine Swanson, Evergreen Park Patch