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Brentwood Teacher Sexual Assault Lawsuit 8-18-2017

45-year-old Brentwood Teacher Arrested on Statutory Rape Charges

Our law firm is currently investigating the possibility of lawsuits against all responsible parties for an incident that occurred on August 18, 2017.

A biology teacher at Brentwood School in Los Angeles was arrested on Friday, August 18, 2017 on suspicion of having sex with an underage student, aged 16.

The 45-year-old teacher, Dr. Aimee Palmitessa, was taken into custody but was released on bail. She has been accused of statutory rape and in the wake of the arrest was placed on administrative leave. Brentwood is a prestigious, expensive school, and its board was in shock over the arrest.

Palmitessa has a Ph.D. in both biochemistry and molecular biology; she primarily teaches at the Upper School. There has been no information released on how police officers learned of Palmitessa’s alleged acts, whether it was a student tip-off or a parental concern. The name of the student has not been made public.

Mike Riera, Brentwood head, composed a newsletter that stated the facts of the event and that their “primary concern is the safety, health and well-being of students at Brentwood school.”

Leading up to Palmitessa’s arrest, school districts in Southern California have paid hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements to student victims of sexual abuse or sexual assault at the hands of teachers or authority figures.

Sexual Assault Information
Sexual assault is a form of assault and battery that includes groping, unwarranted advances, unreciprocated touching, inappropriate remarks, physical violence, rape, and other actions of a sexual nature. Victims are encouraged to seek help through whatever avenue they can: victim groups, law enforcement, therapy, or by pressing charges.

Underage students who have been sexually assaulted can file lawsuits with the help of their guardians; if they opt to press criminal charges, the burden of proof is exceptionally high, and the result for the perpetrator can be jail time, community service, and other punishments. However, there is no opportunity for monetary compensation from the individual or the school if a criminal lawsuit is filed. Further, students over the age of 18 can file lawsuits without the need of a guardian.

Victims seeking monetary compensation should file civil claims. The burden of proof is much lower in civil cases, and while there is no chance for jail time, there is an opportunity for the responsible party to pay for damages. The individual who committed the act can be required to compensate the victim, but if the school is also found partly responsible, it can contribute to the damages as well.

A sexual assault lawyer can help you recover damages for sexual assault sustained in schools. You can recover:

  • Economic Damages: For any medical bills that you accrued stemming from the assault. Very few sexual assaults leave the victim unharmed; most often, there are additional injuries sustained in the attack. You can be compensated for medical treatment, ambulance fees, surgery, medication, and rehabilitation.
  • Non-economic Damages: For any emotional suffering you sustained. These damages include fear, anxiety, stress, PTSD, mental anguish, and other psychological conditions. Sexual assault can leave you feeling intensely victimized and violated, and the effects of the event can linger long after everything is said and done. Emotional scars are not like broken bones that heal, the pain of which becomes subconscious; there is no way to heal psychological damage, and one of the only forms of restitution for it is monetary compensation.
  • Punitive Damages: For additional punishment to the victim. Punitive damages are meant to bring further punishment to the perpetrator in lieu of criminal charges. They can be collected as an example of what happens when an assault occurs or to try and prevent future incidents from happening. Punitive damages, however, are very difficult to acquire, and a proper lawyer will be able to plead for them. Courts usually believe the punishments are adequate enough. However, in the case of sexual assault occurring in schools, you can seek punitive damages on the premise of gross negligence, especially if the teacher had a history of sexual abuse or if there were multiple allegations with no action taken.

A Team that Cares for You
If you or your child has suffered sexual assault at a school or university, you should seek some form of legal assistance to suit your needs. It is a terrible ordeal to suffer through and no one should go through it without help; empathy, understanding, care, and drive are required to make sure whatever course of action you choose is seen through to the end.

At Normandie Law Firm, our team of attorneys will make sure you feel comfortable throughout the entire case. Our lawyers are passionate people who place our clients first – we want to get them anything that can help them be compensated and move forward. A sexual assault case can be equally as traumatizing as the event itself due to reliving it, and for this reason, we want to ensure that our clients suffer as little as possible while in our care.

Call us today to receive a completely free and wholly confidential legal consultation on your claim. We will discuss what kind of settlement we hope to garner you and what the legal process consists of. We also offer you a zero fee guarantee, which dictates that you pay no out of pocket expenses for using our services. We only collect payment after you have received a settlement; it is unfair to collect money from you if you require legal representation and are seeking compensation, as you will incur a larger debt if your case is lost. For that reason, we only collect our dues after we win.

If you have been the victim of sexual assault at a school, call Normandie Law Firm today.



 

 

 

 

 

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