Child Victim — cyber-bullied after her sexual assault
Twelve-year-old "Donitra" was enticed out of her home by three high school seniors, taken to a remote spot and sexually assaulted. When she reported the crime, she was mercilessly attacked on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram. VRCCT identified those responsible, threatened suit and . . . the posting stopped, and many were removed! We also represent this victim in the criminal court, protecting her privacy and keeping the judge focused on the actions of the offenders rather than the victim
Judge really hears the victim — requires guilty plea
"Jill" offered a room to her step-brother when he was down and out. She awoke to find him masturbating, his finger inside her on her own bed. Police, and then prosecutors, treated this sexual assault as though it was "no big deal." The prosecutor charged a minor "touching" offense rather than than the felony offense that was committed. The offender could apply for a diversion program that would result in no criminal conviction. Where was Justice? "Jill" and VRCCT each presented compelling arguments to that the crime was, in fact, a big deal. "It would be a big deal if it involved your sister, or your mother or your child," we argued. "Why are they treating Jill like just a number?" The Judge listened, denying the program to the offender, and confirming that a crime was committed. The judge could not change the prosecutor's charge, but he could validate the pain and trauma caused to the survivor. The offender plead guilty to the reduced charge, which will now serve as a warning for his next possible victim.
Helping College Sexual Assault Victims
Victim Rights Center has helped several victims of college sexual assault navigate the college disciplinary process. [Specific facts might identify the victims, so we do not disclose those facts here.] We advised them on whether to report to the school and/or to the police, helped them deal with the bureaucracy of college disciplinary proceedings, and represented some of them as victims in the criminal courts. College responses to sexual assault and harassment range from enlightened to abusive. Student victims need knowledgeable advisors to cope with the many choices available, and the trauma of dealing with those systems.
Escape from Dangerous housing
"Sonya" was raped by the maintenance man in her apartment building. The police investigation stalls. Our client was unsafe, but the landlord would neither return her security nor fire the offender. Without the deposit, she cannot secure a new, safe place to live. VRCCT persuaded the landlord both to return the security and also to pay the cost of moving to a new apartment. We also are consulting with the police to move the investigation forward
From workplace harassment to labor board to CHRO to recovery
John cooked for years at the same restaurant. After a change in supervisors, a fellow employee began to touch him inappropriately on a regular basis. His complaints were sent into a bureaucratic black hole. Finally, as the harassment continued, he brought a formal complaint, which was ignored. He left work, complained to the police, and was fired. The restaurant claimed he had quit, and should be denied unemployment. Victim Rights Center represented him in successful labor board hearings, and helped him file a CHRO (state job discrimination) claim. Together we will pursue a monetary recovery from his employer in the new year.
Child abusers seek visitation with the daughters they harmed
Convicted of sexual abuse of his 11 year old daughter, "Ronald" filed in family court seeking to force his younger daughters to visit him. Their mother tried to navigate the confusing court system, but was getting nowhere after many court dates. VRCCT, representing the younger children, convinced the court to deny visitation permanently. The family was able to leave the state. "You literally saved our lives," the mother wrote. "My children are so happy." Victim Rights Center has seen six cases like this one in just a year, but in most of them, the police have failed to make an arrest, doubting the child's report only because the offender denied the crime. In each case, child protective services has found the child credible, but the father is still trying to gain custody.