Harvey Weinstein. James Toback. Bill Cosby. These high profile individuals best exemplify the reason why confidential settlements in sexual misconduct cases work against the victim. As a result, money silences the victim creating a situation where the greater community is unaware of an individual's sexual misconduct.
In childhood sexual abuse cases, the anonymity of a predator is a problem. For example, in child molestation cases against institutions such as churches, clergy members go unnamed in return for the church buying the silence of victims. As a result, these clergy members end up living anonymously near schools, daycare centers, parks, and other places frequented by children.
Due to the problem created by confidential settlements in child sexual abuse cases, the child molestation law firm of Corsiglia McMahon & Allard worked with Senator Jim Beall to abolish such agreements. For that reason, the law now makes it illegal for attorneys to enter into confidential settlements. This means the victim's identity is still protected, but the predator and the amount of money are not. Thus, the transparency will help.
USA Swimming Protection of Predator Coaches Leads to Legislation
The groundbreaking work to expose USA Swimming's protection of predator coaches inspired the enactment of CCP Section 1002. The law now prohibits the concealing of any factual information involving sex abuse claims including settlements, and serves many purposes:
- Pedophiles will be outed in that information about what they did with children will now become a matter of public record. This is analogous to the registered sex offender laws;
- Entities which harbor, conceal and cover for pedophiles are no longer legally allowed to condition the payment of money on keeping litigants and their attorneys silent about their identities and how they harmed children;
- A central information system has now been created. Advocates for sex abuse victims can freely share information about their cases; and
- Parents now have access to data from the civil forum. This allows them to make informed decisions about the welfare of their children and who cares for them.
Adults sexually molested as children or parents of sexually abused children are encouraged to contact our experienced attorneys. We only represent victims of childhood sexual abuse. Call us at 408-289-1417 for a free and confidential consultation.