According to northjersey.com, a 28-year-old security guard from Bergen County is facing charges of sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child after being arrested Monday by the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office. According to the prosecutor, Everald Palmer of New Milford allegedly engaged in the sexual assault with a 16-year-old victim on one occasion in New Milford.
The security guard had been working at Paterson's Eastside High School located at 150 Park Ave, Paterson, NJ 07501. However, he was removed last week after allegations of “inappropriate contact” with a student came to light. Paterson Schools Superintendent Eileen Shafer thanked Eastside Principal Edgard Nieves, Security Director Dalton Price, and Security Supervisor Robert Silva for their quick intervention and cooperation with law enforcement, which helped lead to the arrest. According to Shafer, Palmer was immediately terminated from his position and will never work at Paterson Public Schools again.
Additionally, Councilman Luis Velez commented on the situation, saying, “This should set an example for anyone who wants to break the law like this. Kids are kids. We’re supposed to protect them, not take advantage of them.” The location of the alleged assault is still unknown, as the Prosecutor’s Office has not revealed whether it happened at Palmer’s home or some other location in New Milford.
Palmer had been working for Arrow Security, a private firm hired by the district. The private firm could not be reached for comment.
Attorney contributor Brian Kent advocates for victims of sex abuse throughout the state of New Jersey. As an experienced school sex abuse attorney, he helps victims and their families seek justice through civil lawsuits. He recently shared his thoughts on the right for victims to sue if sexually abused by a high school security guard.
"It is heartbreaking to read about the stories of victims who have been sexually assaulted by a high school security guard, and these incidents raise important questions about the role of a school in protecting its students from such dangers.
"Schools have a legal and moral obligation to provide a safe and secure learning environment for their students, and when they fail to do so, they can be held legally accountable for any harm that occurs. When a school has been negligent in protecting students from sexual abuse and other dangers, victims have the right to seek justice in civil court. In such cases, a victim can pursue a claim for negligence against the school, which may include the school not providing adequate security or failing to properly investigate the security guard’s background."
"In addition, victims may also be able to pursue a claim for civil damages, such as pain and suffering, medical expenses, and other damages related to the abuse. The goal of civil litigation is to compensate victims for the harm and suffering they have endured. It is important for victims of sexual assault to understand their legal rights, but by discussing their experience with an experienced school sex abuse attorney, they can learn the best course for justice. The lawyer can help victims identify all responsible parties and hold them accountable."