Last Update: 7/13/2020
Attorney Commentary: School abuse attorney Brian Kent discusses the legal rights of student sex abuse victims and their families in the second section of this article.
A former Philadelphia school cop was arrested in late January on 12 child sex abuse-related charges for incidents that allegedly happened in 2013. 51-year-old Howard Rubin was a police officer at the Multicultural Academy Charter School at the time of the alleged abuse.
Charges against Rubin include involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, witness/victim intimidation, statutory sexual assault of a person 11 years or older, indecent assault of a person under 13 years old, and displaying obscene sexual materials.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, online records show that the alleged crimes occurred on or before July 2013. Rubin was fired in September 2014 and officials cited a police investigation into inappropriate behavior towards students.
The Inquirer obtained the termination letter, in which principal James Higgins reportedly wrote that “some serious allegations have been made against you, which are now being investigated by police.… While we have yet to complete our investigation, we have determined that your behavior, at the very least, and even by your own admission, was unbecoming of a school police officer and a public employee.”
According to court records, Rubin’s personnel file shows that the school received three complaints of sexually inappropriate behavior by Rubin with male students two days before he was terminated.
Sexual abuse lawyer Brian Kent has represented student sex abuse victims and their families in civil lawsuits against sexual predators and negligent schools. Brian has offered to share some information on the legal rights of these victims and families:
Sexual abuse is a major issue plaguing our schools, as countless school staff members have been charged with sexually abusing students. School officials must take this crisis seriously and must do everything they can to make sure their students don’t become victims.
When a school employee is charged with sex crimes against students, both the employee and the school should be investigated. Some of these crimes are preventable and may not have happened if not for negligence by the school – such as ignoring past complaints of inappropriate behavior by the accused employee. In cases of negligence, the victims and their families may have grounds for a lawsuit against the school.
If you or your child is a survivor of sexual abuse by a school employee, you can learn more about your legal rights by contacting our experienced sex abuse victim lawyers for a free consultation.