Police in Chicago say that 44-year-old dance instructor and Final Phaze studio owner Maurice L. Fulson sexually assaulted two teenage girls under his care and recorded some of the assaults. Fulson was arrested at around 3:20 p.m. on August 8 and charged with two counts of sexual assault, one count of producing child pornography, and one count of possessing child pornography. Fulson is accused of repeatedly assaulting a then-16-year-old girl between June 2016 and 2017.
Additionally, a second 15-year-old victim says Fulson had sex with her at his dance studio and that she contracted a sexually transmitted disease during the encounter.
Fulson appeared before Judge Stephanie K. Miller on Friday, August 10, and the judge denied bail. Fulson is scheduled to appear in court again on August 29.
These are not the first allegations of sexual assault made against Fulson. In 2001, he was charged with criminal sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl but was acquitted of all charges in 2002.
Here is some legal commentary on the legal rights of sexual abuse victims from sexual abuse attorney, Brian Kent:
When someone who is entrusted to look after kids turns out to be a sexual predator, it’s important for the victim’s family to be aware of their legal rights. Surviving a sexual assault is an extremely traumatic experience, both for the victim and for their family and loved ones as well. In some cases, the perpetrator should have never been trusted to work with children.
If a company was negligent in failing to protect its customers from a sexual predator, that company can be held liable for damages if the victim’s family decides to file a lawsuit. For example, a dance studio that hired a sex offender who eventually sexually abused students at the studio would likely be considered negligent and held liable for damages.
There are many forms of negligence, and determining if your family has grounds for a lawsuit will require an overview of your case by an experienced sexual abuse victims lawyer.