Former Boys & Girls Club Employee Sentenced to 30 Days in Jail
A former employee of the Boys & Girls Club of Albany was found guilty of sexual abuse on Thursday, January 31. Fernando Lopez was sentenced to just 30 days in jail following the conviction.
Lopez was charged with sexual abuse after the victim’s mother found cell phone pictures of her 16-year-old daughter kissing the 25-year-old Lopez. In an interview with ABC 9 KEZI, the mother, Robin Fielder, said that she immediately went to the club and asked for an explanation. According to Fielder, these photos were taken during a club field trip and at the club’s location at 1215 Hill Street SE.
In the same interview, Fielder voiced disgust with what she believes is a light verdict. The offense was only a misdemeanor instead of a felony because of the fact that the victim was older than 15 and the age difference was nine years.
Justice for Survivors of Sexual Abuse in Youth Organizations
Attorney Brian Kent of AbuseGuardian.com is a former prosecutor who now represents survivors of sexual violence in civil cases, helping them recover the financial compensation they deserve. Here are some thoughts from Brian on the legal options available to those who have been sexually abused by employees and volunteers of youth organizations like the Boys & Girls Clubs of America:
In any organization or business that involves working with kids, it’s absolutely critical to make sure that no one dangerous is allowed in the organization or business. Sadly, sexual predators often seek out positions in groups like the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and Boy Scouts of America in order to commit heinous crimes of sexual abuse against the children under their watch.
When these crimes are brought to light, we must make sure that the perpetrator is prosecuted, that the victims and others affected by the abuse are provided with support, and that the organization is also held liable if their negligence allowed the abuse to happen.
For example, a youth organization might be considered liable if they ignored previous complaints of sexual misconduct regarding an employee or failed to run a background check before hiring an employee who had a history of sexual misconduct. In cases that involve negligence, the victims and their families may have the option to file a lawsuit.
If you or your child is a survivor of child sexual abuse, we understand how painful these times have been for your family. Our experienced sex abuse survivors attorneys want to help your family fight for justice. You can learn more about your legal options by contacting us for a free consultation.