ABC 13 has reported that a Houston police sergeant has been arrested for sexually assaulting a 13-year-old child. Tung Tran worked for 23 years with the Houston Police Department.
He was arrested on Tuesday, November 2, 2021, following an investigation by the Hedwig Village Police Department that began on September 23, 2021. The investigation is ongoing, and Tran has been relieved of his position amid the allegations.
Attorney Marc Lenahan is an experienced sexual abuse lawyer who represents victims and their families in civil lawsuits. During an interview, we asked Marc to share some of the legal rights of victims sexually assaulted by a police officer.
"Police officers and other first responders are trusted to ensure people's safety while preventing crime and enforcing the law. Most police are genuinely trustworthy, but some use their positions of trust and power to sexually assault people both on and off the job. Victims of these heinous crimes should understand their legal rights for recourse."
"Reporting instances of sexual assault by a police officer should immediately result in a criminal investigation. This investigation is a critical part of the legal process. However, in some cases of sexual assault, victims and their families may even have grounds to file a civil lawsuit against the officer directly and potentially the police officer's employer."
"Often, the police department may be considered liable for playing a negligence role in the assault. For instance, if previous misconduct complaints were filed against the officer yet were ignored, and the officer remained employed, this is considered negligence. Also, if the department failed to run a background check that would have revealed a history of misconduct before hiring the officer, this would be a form of neglect. Victims and their families are advised to seek out an experienced sexual abuse lawyer to determine if they have legal grounds to pursue a civil lawsuit."