104 people were arrested in an online child sex sting in central Ohio in September, including a youth director in training at Redeemers On Courtright Church in Columbus and an emergency room doctor at Genesis Hospital in Zanesville.
26-year-old Christian Gibson has been fired from his position as a youth director at Redeemers On Courtright (ROC) Church. He has been charged with attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and importuning.
31-year-old Austin Kosier has been placed on indefinite administrative leave at Genesis Hospital "pending further understanding of the circumstances", according to a press release from the hospital. He is also charged with unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and importuning.
22 other men were arrested on the same charges in Delaware, Fairfield, and Franklin counties. Franklin County Sheriff's Office Major Steven Tucker says that all 24 of these men thought that they were speaking to a child through electronic communications and showed up to meet children with the intention of having sex.
The remaining 80 arrests in this sting operation include 43 women arrested for selling sex, 36 men arrested for attempting to buy sex, and one man arrested for promoting prostitution.
Attorney contributor Phil Edwards helps sexual abuse survivors and their families find justice in civil lawsuits. We've asked Phil to share some general info on the legal rights of those who have been sexually abused by doctors, religious leaders, and other individuals in positions of trust:
Sexual predators are often found in positions of trust - working in our schools, healthcare facilities, churches, and other trusted institutions. When an individual in a position of trust sexually abuses children that they've met through their position, those victims and their families should be aware of their legal rights.
In many of these cases, the sexual abuse may have been prevented or stopped if not for third-party negligence. For example, if previous concerns had been raised about sexual misconduct involving the perpetrator, but no action was taken by the perpetrator's employer, that employer could be considered negligent. In cases of third-party negligence, the victims and their families may have grounds for a lawsuit against that third party.
Additionally, in some cases, including sexual abuse by doctors, the victims and their families may have grounds for a lawsuit directly against the perpetrator.
The available legal options in cases of sexual abuse depend on the circumstances of the case. If you or a loved one is a survivor of sexual abuse, you can learn more about your legal options by discussing your case with an experienced sex abuse victims attorney.