Hagens Berman Blog

Sexual Harassment News: Epstein, Sports, Dartmouth, Scouts, Catholic Church

by HB Sexual Harassment Legal Team

08/07/2019

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Jeffrey Epstein’s Florida Plea Deal to Be Investigated by State

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis ordered an investigation into the controversial handling of Jeffrey Epstein’s 2008 guilty plea for soliciting prostitution from minors and the unusually lenient terms of his imprisonment in Palm Beach County.

The Palm Beach County sheriff was already looking into how its office handled the case, as well as the decision to allow Epstein to spend 6 days a week at work during the 13 months he spent in prison, but asked DeSantis to reassign the case to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to maintain “the public’s trust,” the sheriff wrote to DeSantis in a letter Tuesday. read more »

Is the US finally taking sexual abuse in sports seriously?

US politicians are now getting involved in an effort to avoid a repetition of the Larry Nassar scandal. But questions over funding remains

Last week, US senators Richard Blumenthal and Jerry Moran released a 235-page report summing up an 18-month investigation into sexual abuse in sports, prompted by the crimes of former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. The senators are also releasing a bill that goes far beyond the benign legislation of the past, instead issuing a demand and a threat. Firstly, the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee must give $20m a year to the US Center for SafeSport, the organization set up to stop the sexual abuse of young athletes. The Center opened its offices in March 2017 and got a new CEO in July – Ju’Riese Colón, who has a background in children’s safety issues that critics say previous leaders have lacked. read more »

Former Dartmouth students settle with college over harassment allegations

Nine former Dartmouth psychology students settled a lawsuit with the Dartmouth College. The suit alleged three professors harassed and assaulted students, and the college did little to intervene. The $14 million settlement was announced Tuesday.

The students — Kristina Rapuano, Vassiki Chauhan, Sasha Brietzke, Annemarie Brown, Andrea Courtney, Marissa Evans, and three women identified as Jane Doe, Jane Doe 2 and Jane Doe 3 — were all students in the department of psychology and brain studies. In a lawsuit filed in November 2018, they alleged they faced a wall of demeaning comments and unprofessional discussions about their personal lives from three former professors, Todd Heatherton, William Kelley and Paul Whalen. read more »

Failings of the Catholic Church and Boys Scouts of America on display

At the Catholic Church and Boy Scouts of America, headlines from Tuesday alone show the scope of challenges at organizations meant to safely shepherd children to adulthood. read more »