A well-known magician based in Weymouth has been arrested after three former students contacted police with allegations of sexual abuse by the magician.
52-year-old David Hussey, known by the stage name of David Oliver, has taught magic to South Shore students for decades. Massachusetts State Police arrested him on Wednesday, January 23 and charged him with two counts of indecent assault and battery and one count of indecent assault and battery on a person younger than 14.
Hussey was arraigned in Hingham District Court. Judge John Stapleton set bail at $2,000 cash, ordered Hussey to wear a GPS tracking device, and forbid him from contacting the alleged victims or having any unsupervised contact with children.
The investigation began in October when the first alleged victim contacted the Woburn Police Department. He told police that he was sexually assaulted by Hussey as a member of the Society of Young Magicians. He also told authorities that he believed there were other victims, including a now-14-year-old boy. He provided contact information for two other victims, who told police that they had suffered inappropriate touching by Hussey as recently as 2018.
According to the police report, Hussey was a leader in the Society of Young Magicians before being removed in September amid reports of inappropriate behavior. He also taught a yearly summer course at Minuteman Regional High School in Lexington and was a Tannen's Magic Camp counselor in New York from 1997 until 2005.
Attorney contributor Kim Dougherty represents survivors of sexual assault in civil cases. We've asked her to discuss the legal options available to survivors of child sexual abuse by teachers, instructors, coaches, and others in positions of trust:
Sexual predators are often trusted members of their communities. We regularly see this in cases involving teachers, coaches, and instructors. This is why it's crucial to make sure that those who work with children are honorable people and that no sexual predators are allowed to work in these fields. Additionally, anyone who suspects child sexual abuse must report it to law enforcement immediately.
When a child is sexually abused by someone in a position of trust, there are many concerns to address. The perpetrator must be investigated and prosecuted, the victim and their family must get the support they need, and any negligent third parties must be held accountable for the role they played in abuse. For example, the employer of a martial arts or dance instructor might be considered negligent for failing to report previous complaints of sexual misconduct to law enforcement.
In cases involving third-party negligence, the victims and their families may have grounds for a lawsuit. In many cases, these victims may also have grounds to file a claim against their abuser directly. If you or a loved one is a survivor of child sexual abuse, you can learn more about your family's legal options by speaking to an experienced crime victim attorney.