Judo Instructor Sexual Assault Lawsuit Attorney
Judo is a Japanese martial art that became popular worldwide when it was introduced as an Olympic sport in 1964. Since then, students of all ages have signed up for judo classes as a way to have fun and learn self-defense techniques. Unfortunately, what should be an enriching experience can actually be harmful if a student is subjected to sexual abuse and assault. Such incidents can occur easily between a judo instructor and a student for many reasons.
Mainly, this is a sport where opponents have to grab, thrown, and pin each other. Touching in various areas of the body is inevitable, and this is something a sexual predator can certainly take advantage of. Students may also spend considerable time alone with their instructor during private lessons. Then, there’s the possibility of sexual abuse during martial arts tournaments, especially with minors that are not accompanied by their parents.
If you or a loved one was sexually assaulted or abused at the hands of a judo instructor, you must find out about your rights and legal options right away. You may be able to sue for your physical and mental injuries, which can help you recover the losses you’ve suffered as a sexual abuse victim. To speak with a sexual assault lawsuit attorney, contact DTLA Law Group and schedule a free consultation.
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What is the Definition of Sexual Abuse?
First, it’s important to understand that sexual assault is a specific form of sexual abuse. It’s often accompanied by other types of sexual misconduct, especially if the abuse goes on for a long period of time. In cases involving minors, for examples, sexual assault doesn’t happen right away. The child is initially “groomed” by the instructor through extra attention, compliments, and other methods that form an emotional connection. That way, they’re slowly manipulated into a sexual act and are less likely to report the abuse out of attachment to their abuser.
Thus, when we talk about sexual assault cases, it’s important to look at it in the context of all sexually inappropriate conduct between a student and instructor. Such behaviors include the following:
- Unwanted fondling, groping, kissing
- Attempted rape
- Masturbating in front of someone without consent
- Showing / sending pornographic material without consent
- Indecent exposure
- Any type of unwanted sexual contact
These examples can apply to both adult and child victims, but child sexual abuse is a more complex topic due to the ways an adult can manipulate and overpower a child. In the next section, we will cover the ways that a martial arts instructor can sexually harm a student under 18 years old.
What is the Definition of Child Sexual Abuse?
Martial arts academies typically offer classes for children, and it’s their responsibility to keep minor students safe from harm. This includes all forms of child abuse, including sexual assault between a student and their instructor. As for what counts as child sexual abuse, here are some examples:
- Child molestation
- Child grooming
- Exploitation / trafficking
- Indecent exposure
- Creating / disseminating child pornography
- Sexting or other exchanges of sexually explicit material
- Vaginal or anal intercourse with a minor
- Non-intercourse sexual acts with a minor
Basically, any type of contact with a minor (under 18 years old) for the purpose of sexual gratification is illegal in California. That’s because minors cannot give informed consent, meaning they are fully aware of the physical and emotional consequences of engaging in sexual activity. As a result, there is no way for an adult judo instructor to justify a sexual relationship with a minor under any circumstances.
Compensation from a Sexual Assault Lawsuit
A sexual assault lawsuit includes various damages that the victim incurred as a result of their abuse. What you are able to receive will depend on the details of your case, but as a general rule, victims are able request:
- Medical costs
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Property damage
- Legal fees
- Loss of consortium
These may not be the only damages you can recover, which is why it’s important to speak with an attorney. A lawyer experienced in working with sex abuse victims can help you determine a fair amount of funds to ask for. That can be challenging for the average person to come up with, especially for emotional damages like pain and suffering. If you’d like to discuss your case with one of our attorneys, contact our office and schedule a free consultation.
Can I Sue the Judo Academy for my Sexual Assault Incident?
If you were sexually assaulted or sexually abused by a Judo instructor, you may be able to sue the judo academy if they failed to take certain actions to protect you. For example, did the academy conduct proper background checks before they hired the instructor? Were there previous complaints of sexual abuse, but the owners chose to ignore them? Was there a known incident of sexual assault by an instructor, but they were allowed to continue working at the academy? These are just some of the ways that a business can be liable when it comes to a sexual assault lawsuit.
Judo academies may also be responsible for incidents of child sexual abuse under California’s mandated reporting laws. Essentially, workers who come into contact with children on a regular basis must keep an eye out for signs of sexual abuse. They must also take all sexual assault and abuse allegations seriously and report them immediately to the proper authorities. Thus, a judo academy may be liable in a lawsuit for damages if they knew about or suspected sexual abuse involving an instructor, but failed to call police or Child Protective Services.
With martial arts sexual assault cases, the academy may not be the only third party that’s responsible. Tournament hosts and sports facilities may also be aware of sexual abuse that’s being committed by a judo instructor. They too, may be responsible for a victim’s injuries if they ignored or tried to cover up sexual abuse cases between a judo instructor and a student.
Can I Sue for Sexual Abuse that Happened when I was a Child?
Did you suffer sexual abuse from a judo instructor while you were a minor? You may have grounds to file a lawsuit against the responsible parties under California’s Assembly Bill 218 (AB 218). This legislation allows victims up to the age of 40 to file a lawsuit for sexual abuse they suffered before the age of 18.
Additionally, all child sex abuse survivors are given a 3-year “look back” window, which will expire on December 31, 2022. This applies to adult survivors of child sexual abuse who were previously unable to file a claim due to the statute of limitations expiring on their cases. These victims can now file a claim for damages, but they only have until the end of this year to do so. Since time is running out, please contact us right away if you or a loved one is a survivor of childhood sex abuse.
Another significant factor of AB 218 is the tripling of damages for child sex abuse cases that involve cover ups by an organization. This means martial arts schools, sports facilities, and other organizations may be ordered to pay a victim 3 times the damages if they deliberately tried to “hide evidence relating to childhood sexual assault.”
These are exciting developments that will help many child sexual assault survivors achieve justice and monetary restitution for their suffering. To learn more about AB 218 and how it may apply to your case, contact our law firm and speak to a California child sex abuse attorney.
The Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Attorney of DTLA
Sexual abuse lawsuits are challenging for many reasons, and there are plenty of obstacles that can cause victims to give up in their fight for justice. At times like these, you need an experienced, compassionate lawyer to fight for your rights and restore your faith in the legal system. However, victims may be reluctant to call for help due to the high cost of retaining an attorney.
Here at DTLA, you will never pay upfront to retain our services. Our law firm works under a Zero fee guarantee, meaning there is no cost to you as a client, even if your case goes to trial. All our fees are paid by the other party, and that’s only if we win your case. That’s our commitment to you, along with the experience and passion to bring you the settlement you deserve.
If you’re ready to learn more about your rights and legal options, please schedule a free case evaluation with one of our attorneys.