Trial Looming for Teacher Accused of Sexual Molestation
Scheduled to begin on May 26, the trial for a Catholic school teacher accused of sexually molesting his students is getting closer, and one of the major decisions that the court must make before the trial begins is whether the testimony of an older, former student will be allowed in court. The teacher accused is Stephen Budd, 53, a former teacher at the Rosarian Academy in West Palm Beach.
Facts Alleged in the Case
Mr. Budd was arrested in April 2013 for sexually assaulting at least two of his nine-year-old female students at the Catholic school. He faces charges of sexual assault, cruelty towards a child, and other related crimes. According to his victims, Mr. Budd would trade candy and “Budd bucks” in exchange for sexual favors. The sexual molestation of these victims happened during the 2006-07 school year. Mr. Budd also faced charges of child pornography possession, but those charges were later dropped.
Prosecutors for the case are also trying to admit the testimony of another former student of Mr. Budd’s when he was teaching at a Riviera Beach Catholic school more than a decade ago. According to that victim, he was acting inappropriately with students as far back as 10 years ago, possibly longer. However, the motion was not specific as to what type of inappropriate behavior Mr. Budd is accused of engaging in at his former place of employment.
Mr. Budd’s attorney filed a response to block the testimony of the former Riviera Beach student, and the judge agreed to make a decision on the filing before the beginning of the trial date. Jury selection on the case is set to begin in one week.
Civil Remedies for Sexual Assault Victims
Besides filing criminal charges against a sexual predator, victims of sexual assault can also file a civil lawsuit against their attacker. Under Florida law, a sexual assault survivor can seek monetary damages in order to try and begin to compensate for the damage that was caused in the attack. Adult victims of sexual assault have a statute of limitations in which to file their civil lawsuit against an attacker, but minor victims of sexual assault have no time limit to file a lawsuit against their assailant.
Typically, the survivor of sexual assault can sue their attacker under the theories of assault, battery, or intentional infliction of emotional distress. Victims of these attacks can be compensated for any physical, emotional, and mental damage that was caused as a result of the sexual assault. The perpetrators of sexual assaults can be forced to pay both compensatory and punitive damages for the harm that was caused to their victims.
Contact a Florida Attorney Today
Do you want to file a civil lawsuit for sexual assault you sustained in West Palm Beach? Contact the experienced attorneys at Gary Roberts & Associates for help. We will do everything we can to help you recover compensation.