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Sexual Abuse at Summer Camps

Posted on April 30th, 2021

Summer camps: Not always fun and games for the kids “Sexual abuse of campers is a nationwide epidemic” – attorney Steve Estey Whether it’s sailing or swimming, or figuring out how to make green slime, summer camps give kids a chance to learn, develop skills and have just plain fun. At least that’s what’s supposed to happen. Turns out, summer camps are a pedophile’s paradise, with cases of childhood sexual abuse occurring at camps across the U.S. “We know that child abusers go where the children are, so it’s not surprising to find them working at summer camps,” attorney Steve Estey said. “Our research shows that well over 1,000 campers have been sexually assaulted over the last 10 years and that’s just the cases we know about through the media. There are undoubtedly countless others.” Mr. Estey recently filed two civil lawsuits against A.R.E., the Virginia-based Association for Research and Enlightenment that was founded by spiritualist Edgar Cayce in 1931. Hannah Furbush is one of eight sexual assault survivors who are suing A.R.E. Hannah grew up attending A.R.E. camp programs – her parents started bringing her to family camp when she was just 10 weeks old. In fact, the entire…

Estey & Bomberger lawsuits allege counselors, staff at A.R.E. “spiritual enlightenment” camp sexually assaulted and raped young campers

Posted on April 30th, 2021

The Association for Research and Enlightenment is facing two lawsuits from eight rape and sexual assault survivors for allowing counselors and staff members to sexually abuse underage campers at camp programs and other A.R.E.-sponsored activities. The charges are outlined in two lawsuits filed in the Second Judicial District Court that serves Virginia Beach. The lawsuits were filed on behalf of eight sexual assault survivors, who are represented by the California law firm Estey & Bomberger. The civil lawsuits target the Association for Research and Enlightenment that runs the summer camp program in Rural Retreat, Virginia. A.R.E. was founded in 1931 by spiritualist Edgar Cayce, who was a clairvoyant once known as “The Sleeping Prophet.” The women named in the lawsuits allege that A.R.E.’s decades-long sexually abusive culture, in which campers were expected to participate in hands-on activities like daily “Hugging Circles” and “Massage Trains,” ultimately leading to their being sexually abused. The “Liberated Underwear Movement” provides yet another example of how A.R.E. subjected young girls to abusive activities. The campers were expected to run through camp partially clad in their underwear. And an activity known as “Goddess Night” also contributed to the camp’s sexually abusive culture, with young female campers…

California Supreme Court has rules that sports governing organizations have a duty to protect young athletes from sexual abuse

Posted on April 7th, 2021

The California Supreme Court has ruled that sports governing organizations have a duty to protect young athletes from sexual and other abuse. In a recent case we handled involving girls aspiring to be Olympians, their martial arts coach molested them for years. The court ruled that USA Taekwondo could be held liable for the actions of the coach, Marc Gitelman. Attorney and partner at the firm, Stephen Estey, was featured in many news outlets recently, as linked to below. ABC NEWS KTLA News Bloomberg Daily News ESPN LA Times Yahoo Sports The Hill AP We are happy to have been part of this lawsuit, as this ruling will better protect young athletes from sexual abuse by holding the organizations responsible for the actions of their coaches. This also includes the 61 national governing bodies for aspiring Olympians.  

Lawyers Representing Sexual Assault Victims of Edgar Cayce’s A.R.E. Camp

Posted on August 23rd, 2020

Have you been sexually assaulted while attending an Edgar Cayce A.R.E. camp? If so, you are not alone. We are currently accepting clients and are currently representing other victims right now. Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation and we will let you know what your legal options are. We take all cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning you don’t need any money to hire us. You only pay if we win your case. Our sexual assault victim lawyers and legal team are specifically trained to handle cases involving sexual abuse and sexual assault. Unlike most other law firms, we have Sexual Assault Victim Advocates on staff. Not only can we provide you with what we believe the be the very best legal representation in the country, but we also can help connect you with therapists and support so that you can focus on healing. It’s time to put the shame back where it belongs: on the perpetrators and on the Edgar Cayce’s Association for Research and Enlightenment. They failed to protect campers and we will do everything in our power to make them pay in order to get justice for any sexual assault victim. Some courageous…

University of Michigan Doctor Sexually Abuse Case

Posted on March 6th, 2020

It seems that far too often we hear about cases involving institutional sex abuse of children, whether it’s at small town pre-schools or even large universities like Ohio State, Penn State or Michigan State. The latest news of abuse on a college campus is at the University of Michigan, where a doctor who worked there in the 60’s and for many years after. Dr. Robert E. Anderson abused many male student athletes by giving unnecessary digital rectal exams, testicular exams, fondle body parts of the students, exposing himself and other sexually deviant activities. Even though many people reported this activity to the University of Michigan, they did not handle the situation properly. This is a common pattern from institutions who fear the financial consequences and bad press instead of handling the situation correctly in order to make sure these things don’t happen to other innocent victims. As a result, hundreds of boys were sexually abused by Anderson. The University of Michigan is responsible and will now pay the price. Estey & Bomberger is now representing men against the University of Michigan and have set up a website for victims. If you or a family member were a victim of Dr….

What Child Protection Policies Are in Place in California Public Schools?

Posted on January 25th, 2019

Sending children to school should not cause parents to fear of whether they will return home safely or not. Unfortunately, new challenges such as cyberbullying, school shootings, and infringements upon the right to free speech can threaten students’ physical and psychological well-being during school hours. It is up to public schools in California to evaluate their safety levels, and to enforce child protection policies as needed to meet the current federal safety standards. Federal Laws: The Children First Act of 2015 The Children First Act turned parts of the Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children into law. It provides many important child protection measures now part of federal law. These include several requirements for organizations that provide services to children, including public schools. The requirements and obligations do not vary from establishment to establishment. Keep children safe from harm while providing services. Create a Child Safeguarding Statement, and provide a copy to the Child and Family Agency (Tusla). Report child protection concerns to the Child and Family Agency. Assist the Child and Family Agency in assessing child protection risk, if required. Cooperate with Tusla, if necessary, during an assessment by the Agency. The purpose of…

How Reliable Are Rape Testing Kits in Sexual Abuse Cases?

Posted on September 25th, 2018

Evidence gathering is an important first step in any type of criminal case. Investigators may revisit a crime scene, record witness statements, conduct interviews, or gather evidence straight from victims in an effort to identify and/or build a case against a perpetrator. One of the most common tools in evidence collection in a sexual abuse case is the “rape kit.” A rape kit aims to collect DNA evidence from the victim that could incriminate the perpetrator. Many victims wonder, however: “Just how reliable are rape testing kits?” What’s in a Rape Test Kit? If you hear the term “rape kit,” investigators are referring to a box of supplies that contains the tools necessary to conduct a sexual assault forensic exam. Although the name may sound intimidating, the goal of the rape kit is to help sexual abuse victims. Rape kits contain instructions for examiners on how to collect and package specimens in a way that protects any DNA from the perpetrator. They can collect key DNA evidence that ultimately helps police find and arrest the offender. The typical rape kit like as described on Rainn.org contains the following equipment: Checklist and instructions for the examiner and victim Envelopes and bags for…

What If You Know Someone Was Sexually Assaulted on a College Campus?

Posted on September 21st, 2018

Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments prohibits sexual discrimination in American education centers and universities. Title IX also applies to sexual assault and sexual harassment cases that take place in American schools and universities. Students should know their rights and schools’ obligations under Title IX, and they should also know what to do after a sexual assault or incident of sexual discrimination or harassment on a college campus. How Common is Sexual Assault on College Campuses? Women ages 18 to 24 in college are three times more likely to experience a sexual assault than other women, according to findings from the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN),  Women not attending college in the same age range are statistically four times as likely to encounter such a situation. RAINN reports that about 23% of females and 5% of males experience some form of sexual abuse during their undergraduate education. Male students are 78% more likely than male non-students to experience a rape or sexual assault. Unfortunately, statistics indicate that only about 20% of sexual assaults lead to police reports. There are many reasons behind this, such as victims preferring privacy or a belief that police won’t take their complaints…

BREAKING: Estey & Bomberger Secure Unprecedented Settlement for Abused Former Youth Soccer Player

Posted on August 22nd, 2018

The Sexual Assault lawyer team at Estey & Bomberger, LLP has just scored a massive victory for survivors of institutional abuse by securing a multi-million dollar settlement for an abused former youth soccer player. On Friday, August 17th, the U.S. Youth Soccer Association and their affiliate, the Cal North Soccer Association, agreed to pay a total of $8.2 million to the plaintiff, a 19-year-old survivor of sexual abuse. This is the largest settlement for a single person in a sexual abuse case in the history of the United States. You can read the local news coverage at The Mercury News here. The plaintiff alleges that both organizations failed to properly screen their staff, ultimately leading to repeated sexual abuse by a Sunnyvale coach that started in 2011 – when she was 13 years old. The coach, Emanuele Fabrizio, abused the plaintiff from May 2011 to March 2012, engaging in sexual misconduct and inappropriate activity multiple times. Fabrizio volunteered for a coaching position at the West Valley Youth Soccer League in 2010, declaring that he had never been convicted for a felony on his application. However, he failed to mention that in 2006, he was convicted of domestic violence and battery…

E&B has earned the largest sex abuse verdict in the State of California Once Again

Posted on May 30th, 2018

Once again, Estey and Bomberger achieve the largest sex abuse verdict in the State of California! This is not the first time EB has won this award. In fact, E&B has earned the largest sex abuse verdict in the State of California for the last 5 out of 7 years. These totals were: $30 million $23 million $6.5 million $60 million $8 million No other firm even comes close when it comes to the highest per plaintiff verdicts and settlements in the State. You may have heard other law firm’s talk about “settlements” in their sex abuse cases but these amounts, on an individual, per plaintiff basis are FAR LESS than what E&B clients resolve their cases for. If you want a team of attorneys who are trauma informed and truly care about getting you the best result for your case then there is really only one choice: E&B. We understand the trauma a survivor has been through and the courage it takes to hold an institution accountable for failing to keep you safe. We take the fight to both the institution (and the perpetrator) and guide you through every step of the process. We will prepare you for every…

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