If you’re into boxing or love to barbecue, you’re likely familiar with George Foreman. Foreman is known as one of the best boxers and creative entrepreneurs in American history. Unfortunately, recent allegations may be about to tarnish his legacy. The former boxer was recently accused by two different women of sexual abuse and rape. Both women allege that the boxing champion abused and raped them during the 1970s, when they were minors.
The two women filed lawsuits under the pseudonyms Gwen H. and Denise F. with the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Denise F. alleges that she was introduced to Foreman through her father, who was a boxing associate with the heavyweight champion.
Denise states that Foreman began grooming her when she was eight years old and had sex with her when she was 15 years old. Gwen H. also states that her rape occurred in similar circumstances. She was introduced to Foreman through her father, who was also a boxing associate of Foreman’s, and was raped by Foreman when she was 15 and 16 years old.
Since these allegations were revealed in August, Foreman vehemently has denied them. In a public statement, he claimed that both women have been attempting to extort him for millions of dollars, and stated that the allegations were baseless and false.
Child sexual abuse statistics
Child sexual abuse is a widespread problem here in Los Angeles and across the country. According to the Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network (RAINN), one in nine girls and one in 53 boys under the age of 18 will experience sexual abuse or assault. Females between 16 and 19 in particular are four times more likely to be victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault than the general population. Child sexual abuse is a moral and illegal offense that leaves long-term effects on victims.
What is grooming?
Predators use different types of tactics to make it easier to take advantage of children. One of the most common tactics is a process known as grooming. Grooming is an intentional process where a predator engages in manipulative behaviors to lower a child’s guard and coerce them into participating in sexual abuse. It is one of the most devious tactics because predators often use their position in the child’s life to abuse the child.
This is the stage where a predator chooses a victim based on their access or perceived vulnerability. A coach or teacher trying to get close to a child of a single mother, for example, would be an example of victim selection.
Gaining the victim’s trust
This is the stage where the predator works to gain the trust of the victim and the victim’s parents or caregivers. A neighbor or teacher offering to pick up or drop a child off while the parents are still at work would be an example of gaining the victim’s trust.
Isolating the victim
This is the stage where the predator uses isolation tactics to separate the child from others and cultivate a false sense of love and understanding. The predator can isolate the victim by requesting that the child keep certain information between the two of them and create opportunities where only the predator and the child are left alone.
Sexualizing the relationship
After isolating the child, the next step is introducing the child to inappropriate sexual activity. This happens when the predator speaks about sexual topics, shows inappropriate pictures to the child, or takes advantage of the child’s curiosity about sex.
Controlling the victim
During this stage, the predator maintains some form of control of the victim to continue the sexual abuse. Some examples of control include threatening the child or their family, blaming the child for their abuse, or emotionally manipulating the child into catering to their needs.
Consequences of child sexual abuse
When your child has been a victim of sexual abuse, they will never be the same. Your daughter or son is prone to several physical and mental health complications as a result of the abuse that they endured. Children who have been sexually abused develop mental health disorders like PTSD, anxiety, and depression. They are also more likely to succumb to drug and alcohol abuse. If children who have been sexually abused do not have the proper support group around them to deal with the trauma, they are more prone to suffer issues well into their adulthood.
Can I file a lawsuit against the person who sexually abused my child?
Because your child is a minor and unable to file a claim for the sexual abuse they endured, it is your responsibility as their parent or caregiver to seek justice on their behalf. You can hold a predator accountable in civil court, and seek financial compensation for damages, including:
- Medical expenses. You may have to pay for the physical injuries that your child endured from their abuse. Your child may require therapy or other forms of mental health treatment because of the abuse. You can claim compensation for all medical expenses, including projected future expenses.
- Pain and suffering. Your child’s abuse can cause them physical pain and mental anguish. Your child’s abuse will affect them in every aspect of their life, from their ability to form genuine friendships to being able to trust others.
- Educational expenses. Sexual abuse can affect your child’s ability to attend school, either because they have sustained physical injuries that need long-term care, or mental trauma that leaves them unable to function in a classroom. You can claim damages for any educational expenses associated with your child’s abuse, including the cost of tutors, private education, or specialty busing.
- Associated economic losses. If you could not work because you had to care for your child – or because your story is a high-profile one, leaving you and your family unable to live the life you once had – you can claim these economic damages as well.
Child sexual abuse is a complex offense to prove in court. You need a Los Angeles sexual abuse lawyer on your side who has the right amount of compassion and expertise to represent your child. In addition to the predator who abused your child, an experienced Los Angeles sexual abuse lawyer can hold other parties who condoned the behavior accountable.
At Taylor & Ring, our Los Angeles child sexual abuse lawyers have successfully litigated many high-profile cases, involving sexual abuse in schools, youth organizations, religious organizations, and other parties like teachers and coaches. We are ready and willing to hold parties accountable for your child’s sexual abuse. Call our office in Los Angeles at 310-776-6390, or complete our contact form for a free consultation.
David Ring is a nationally renowned plaintiff’s personal injury trial attorney and has obtained multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements on behalf of seriously-injured individuals or families who have lost a loved one in a tragic accident. For more than 20 years, he has represented victims of sexual abuse, sexual harassment, assault, molestation and sexual misconduct in cases against a variety of employers and entities, including schools, churches and youth organizations.
He prides himself on providing aggressive, yet compassionate representation for children who have been sexually abused and women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted. Read more about David M. Ring.