School Bus Driver, John Robert White Accused of Sexually Molesting Minors
Saturday, June 6th, 2022, Washington County school bus driver, John Robert White of Vernon, Florida was arrested on several charges of sexual misconduct involving minors. This arrest came after accusations were brought forward by three sexual abuse survivors under the age of 16 with one younger than 12.
So far, John Robert White is only a suspect in these alleged sexual crimes with an investigation by the Washington County Sheriff's office still underway. Only time will tell what they will uncover with their investigation into these serious accusations of sexual molestation.
In situations such as this, those that have been harmed by sexual abuse must not only face the difficulties posed by an investigation and a potential criminal trial but also the damages inflicted by enduring such a traumatic experience. Dolman Law Group specializes in assisting those that have experienced sexual abuse with filing sexual abuse lawsuits to seek compensation for the damages they suffered as a result of their ordeal.
Sexual Abuse Allegations Against John Robert White
It comes as no surprise that the latest accusations against the 53-year-old school bus driver, John Robert White are not the first to occur. Authorities have revealed that others have come forward as far back as 30 years ago with accusations of sexual misconduct before but no charges were filed.
The current investigation into White was instigated by a school resource officer overhearing a conversation where a student mentioned being molested by their friend's father. This news prompted the school district to immediately suspend White and the authorities to begin an investigation of reports of his alleged sexual abuse.
The Sexual Abuse-Related Charges Against John Robert White
These accusations were apparently severe enough to result in John Robert White being arrested on June 6th on charges of lewd and lascivious behavior on a victim older than 12 and younger than 16, one count of lewd and lascivious molestation on a victim under 12, and one count of lewd and lascivious battery on a victim older than 12 and under 16.
It goes without saying that the consequences for those convicted of these crimes are particularly severe. Lewd and lascivious molestation of a minor under the age of 12 years old by a defendant over 18 can result in a sentence of life imprisonment.
Filing a Florida Sexual Abuse Lawsuit
Sexual abuse inflicts more than just mental and physical trauma. Those that experience sexual abuse must cope with consequences that have the potential to change the course of their life for the worst. While criminal prosecution of sexual abusers can take these criminals off the streets and ensure they face justice, sexual abuse survivors must still deal with the damages they suffered.
Civil lawsuits provide an opportunity for sexual abuse survivors to seek compensation for sexual abuse-related damages. A sexual abuse lawsuit falls under the purview of civil tort law. This area of law involves civil wrongdoing that inflicts damages upon a plaintiff who seeks compensation for said damages from a liable party.
Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Third-Party Liability
In many sexual abuse lawsuits, the perpetrator of sexual abuse will not have the means with which to compensate a plaintiff. This means that plaintiffs often have to look to third parties that may be considered liable for the damages they suffered.
If someone owed a duty of care to the plaintiff and then breached that duty in a way that resulted in the plaintiff being harmed then they could be considered liable for damages in a sexual abuse lawsuit. This often applies to entities such as employers, property owners, or institutions that similarly have a responsibility to ensure the safety of a plaintiff like a school or a hospital.
Liable parties in previous sexual abuse lawsuits have included:
- Youth Organizations
- Care Facilities
- Nursing Homes
Sexual Abuse Criminal Prosecution Versus Civil Lawsuits
The objective of criminal prosecution is not to provide compensation for the damages suffered by those harmed by the crime in question. Instead, criminal prosecution exists to punish those who violate the laws our society has put in place. Occasionally, convictions of sexual abusers may include the order of restitution to be paid to the wronged party but not always.
Civil law concerns disputes between different parties over civil wrongs that can consist of a breach of contract or breach of duty of care. These two areas of law do often interact but they do have distinct differences that play a significant role in a sexual abuse survivor's pursuit of compensation.
You Don't Need a Conviction in Order to File a Sexual Abuse Lawsuit
For example, there is a common misconception that a sexual abuser needs to be found guilty of the crime in order to file a lawsuit. The reality is that you can actually file a sexual abuse lawsuit even if an accused sexual abuser is not found guilty in a criminal trial.
The burden of proof in civil lawsuits is significantly lower than the burden of proof in criminal prosecution. In criminal law, you have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt versus a civil lawsuit where you simply need to prove based on a preponderance of evidence. In many cases, you do not even need to wait for the conclusion of a criminal trial to file a sexual abuse lawsuit.
Sexual Abuse Statute of Limitations
Sexual abuse survivors need time and space to process their trauma. As a result, sexual abuse survivors may not report the crimes committed against them for long periods of time; perhaps even years. Fear of retaliation, shame, a child's lack of comprehension of the crime, and denial can also be factors in why sexual abuse may not be reported for some time.
Even if several years have passed, there is still potential to file a sexual abuse lawsuit. Civil lawsuits will typically have what is known as a statute of limitations which in layman terms is a deadline by which one has to file a lawsuit otherwise you lose your ability to sue. The statute of limitations for Florida sexual abuse lawsuits is four years from the time the abuse is perpetrated for those over the age of 18. However, there is no statute of limitations for minors under the age of 16 that have suffered sexual abuse.
Damages in Florida Sexual Abuse Lawsuits
It is well known that sexual assault, abuse, battery, harassment, human trafficking, and rape are crimes that not only physically harm people but also cause severe psychological trauma. In many cases, this psychological trauma is much worse than the physical injuries sustained. This makes crimes of a sexual nature unique in terms of the damages that they can inflict upon sexual abuse survivors.
Damages in personal injury cases are the losses that are caused by a liable party's negligence. These losses can be economic or non-economic in nature. Economic damages are financial losses that have a clearly measurable metric in dollars whereas non-economic damages are intangible yet have a clear effect on a plaintiff's quality of life.
Common damages claimed in sexual abuse lawsuits include:
- Medical Bills
- Cost of Future Medical Care
- Lost Wages
- Lost Earning Potential
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life
- Relocation Expenses
- Loss of Consortium/Companionship
- Pain and Suffering
How Dolman Law Group Can Help With Your Sexual Abuse Lawsuit
Filing a sexual abuse lawsuit is not to be taken lightly. Attempting to do so without the assistance of a lawyer experienced in handling cases involving sexual abuse is an almost sure way to set yourself up for failure. Sexual abuse lawyers do much more than just advise you on your rights and represent you in court.
A good sexual abuse attorney will assist you with every step of the personal injury process and remain a steadfast ally to the end of your case. Dolman Law group provides a plethora of resources and skills that can each get you one step closer to winning your sexual abuse lawsuit. The following are a few of the ways Dolman Law Group helps our clients through the difficulties that a sexual abuse lawsuit can present.
- Provide you a safe, confidential space to discuss your experience and the damages you've suffered
- Advise you on the most suitable legal path to take
- Ensure you file your lawsuit within the statute of limitations
- Determine which state laws apply to your case and how to use them to your advantage
- Inform you about the updated laws that make it easier to hold the perpetrators accountable for their actions
- Gather enough evidence to build a strong case against the perpetrators
- Calculate all damages incurred and come up with the compensation amount you deserve
- File a clergy abuse lawsuit on your behalf
- Negotiate a settlement with the parties involved
- Represent you in court if necessary
Contact Dolman Law Group for Help With Your Sexual Abuse Lawsuit
Taking legal action after experiencing sexual abuse can be daunting but the positive impact a successful sexual abuse lawsuit can have on clients has shown us time and time again that it is worth it. Seeking compensation for damages is a major part of sexual abuse lawsuits but for many clients, ensuring that those responsible face consequences and the acknowledgment of the trauma they experienced can provide healing and closure as well.
Dolman Law Group is a personal injury law firm that specializes in lawsuits involving all forms of sexual abuse. We go beyond just personal injury experience and bring to the table a long history of success in assisting sexual abuse survivors with seeing their lawsuits to a satisfying resolution.
Our lawyers are aware of how sensitive cases involving sexual abuse can be which is why they emphasize working closely with clients and keeping in close communication throughout the entire process. We prioritize the interests of our clients and tailor our legal strategy to best cater to their needs.
To schedule a free consultation with Dolman Law Group you can either call our office at (727) 451-6900 or fill out our online contact form.