According to NJ.com, a New Jersey martial arts instructor has been accused of sexually assaulting two teenage girls across multiple New Jersey counties.
On Tuesday, January 25, 2022, 44-year-old Vincent Damiano was arrested and charged with two counts of sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child.
The first victim reported the assault in November 2021. She claimed that the abuse took place from May 2019 until July 2019, when she was only 17 years old. The abuse occurred in Lebanon in Hunterdon County and in Branchburg Township and Asbury in Warren County.
The second victim came forward just two days later. She alleged that she was abused from July 2017 to July 2019. The abuse began when she was just 16 years old and took place in Branchburg Township and Asbury.
Attorney contributor Brian Kent handles cases involving sexual assault. He fights for justice for the victims by filing civil lawsuits that often include monetary settlements. Brian recently discussed legal options available to victims sexually abused by martial arts instructors.
"In fields that involve working with kids such as martial arts and many others, the safety of those kids is important. While most martial arts instructors are honorable and trustworthy, a few reports have surfaced of martial arts instructors sexually abusing their students. Sporting facilities have a legal duty to do all they can to avoid the chance of sexual predators gaining employment within these fields. By conducting background checks, installing video surveillance cameras, and fully investigating any reports of misconduct, sporting facilities can reduce the risk of abuse by martial arts instructors. However, when these facilities fail to uphold their responsibility, they can be considered negligent."
"Victims sexually assaulted by martial arts instructors have legal options to seek justice. Reporting the abuse to law enforcement will result in an investigation, charges, and a possible conviction. Apart from this, victims and their families may have grounds to file a civil lawsuit that may result in them recovering compensation. Victims and their families should consult with an experienced sexual assault attorney to further explore their legal options."