I recently saw an interesting article on the News 13 website stating that a St. Cloud man named Anthony Salvo has been convicted and sentenced to five years in prison for sexually abusing children at an Orange County charter school. (I blogged about this a couple of months ago, see here)
Mr. Salvo was convicted after admitting that he kept a child after school for sexual purposes and fondled several children at the school.
As a Florida child sexual abuse attorney, I was not surprised by the response of the spokesperson for the school. She indicated that the school takes child safety very seriously and that the school performs a rigorous background check on every school employee.
First, I question whether this is even true, because an earlier story on the News 13 site indicated that Mr. Salvo admitted to law-enforcement that he had been let go from a previous teaching job after he had asked a student out on a date. If the charter school claims actually performed a thorough background check, and called Mr. Salvo’s previous employers, then certainly this is the kind of thing that would have revealed itself.
Second, performing a background check is only one aspect of the responsibilities of the charter school. In addition to performing a background check and being very thorough in it’s hiring process, any school or other institution that serves young people is also responsible for monitoring all of the adults that are involved with children, and their interactions with children. I have serious concerns about whether the charter school was monitoring Mr. Salvo in his classroom and elsewhere on campus.
Organizations that fail to properly screen, or fail to properly monitor their employee’s interactions with children can be held liable for money damages regarding any injuries, whether physical or psychological, suffered by child sexual abuse victims.
If you have any concerns or questions regarding a potential for the child sex abuse case, please call Winter Park personal injury attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at 407–254–4901.