Police Officers Charged with Child Sexual Abuse Crimes

The Yost Legal Group Is Representing Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse Committed by Maryland Police Officers

The Washington Post recently reported that 1,800 police officers were charged with child sexual abuse crimes between 2005 and 2022. These officers were accused of committing crimes involving sexual abuse against children.

The report highlights a concerning trend within law enforcement agencies across the country. The findings shed light on the issue of abuse of power and trust within the police force.

The information for “Abused by the Badge” is from Bowling Green State University’s Henry A. Wallace Police Crime Database. This database is known as the most comprehensive collection of police arrests in the United States. The introduction for the site reads:

“The Police Crime Database includes summary information on 16,563 criminal arrest cases from the years 2005-2018 involving 13,600 individual nonfederal sworn law enforcement officers, each of whom was charged with one or more crimes.

The arrested officers were employed by 4,766 state, local, and special law enforcement agencies located in 1,831 counties and independent cities in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.”

Were you or someone you love sexually abused as a minor by a police officer in Maryland? Thanks to the Child Victims Act of Maryland, you can now file a claim regardless of how long ago the abuse occurred.

This groundbreaking bill has removed the statute of limitations on reporting childhood sexual abuse.

The compassionate and experienced prison abuse attorneys at The Yost Legal Group are ready to listen and support you. We’re here to help you seek the justice you deserve.

Call or text a prison sexual abuse lawyer today at 410-659-6800.

juvenile jail guards sexually abused inmates in Maryland

Explore 17,000+ Police Arrests in the BGSU Database

With the Police Crime Database, users may search for arrests by location, crime, and victim. Researchers at BGSU discovered over 17,000 state and local officers charged with a crime from 2005 to 2022. The search tool they developed will be helpful for accessing this information.

While large amounts of data can be difficult to parse, the team at BGSU has done a wonderful job designing the website.

They even provide very helpful meta resources such as How-To (video tutorials), Glossary (definitions of common terms), and FAQ (frequently asked questions) sections. Finally, supporting The Post’s claim that this database is the most comprehensive one available, the team at BGSU even provides an in-depth Methods section to explain “How we built the Henry A. Wallace Police Crime Database.”

Nearly 18,000 police officers—entrusted with authority, power, and weapons, sworn to protect and serve—have been charged with crimes like assault, drug offenses, and impaired driving. This is truly shocking.

But The Post dug deeper. There was an even bigger story here, and they found it.

woman being arrested by male police officer sexually abused in Baltimore

Thousands of Police Officers Accused of Sexual Abuse Against Minors

The Post found that 1 in 10 of those officers were charged with a crime involving child sexual abuse.”

And that is how we get to the fact that 1,800 police officers were charged with the sexual abuse of a minor between the years of 2005 and 2022.

The number is hard to fathom: 1,800 individual officers in just 17 years of accounting. Even if the same number of offenders showed up in data over twice or thrice as many years, it would still be unacceptable.

It is also worth noting that not every officer was a first-time or one-time offender when officially charged.

What is worse, as The Post points out, is that Bowling Green’s data is technically limited in that they have only tracked new reports, but “not all arrests are reported in the news media.”

As USA TODAY exposed in “Behind the Blue Wall of Silence,” police have a history of protecting themselves and the fraternal order.

Who Polices the Police? Uncovering Abuse Within

When a person needs to report rape or sexual assault, they need to go to the police. But what happens when the person who committed the crime is a police officer? CNN writer Harmeet Kaur explored that question in “Why Some Police Officers Rally Around Their Colleagues – Even When They’re Accused of Committing Crimes.”

Even when officers are charged, tracking criminal cases of police officers can be difficult because other parts of the justice system can get in the way.

As The Post reported, “Some cases were impossible to track because prosecutors struck deals that allowed officers to accept responsibility for their crimes without a conviction being placed on their record. Others were permitted to have their criminal records sealed after meeting certain conditions.”

The Washington Post‘s investigators found that almost 40% of officers convicted of child sex crimes did not go to prison.

Police officers, correctional officers, and guards all have a duty to protect the people in their care. All correctional facilities have a duty to protect inmates.

If you are a victim of sexual abuse while in police custody or in a correctional facility, call us. Victims of child sexual assault can file a failing to protect inmates claim. Sexual assault cases like these, cases involving sexual abuse in prisons, must stop.

Victims of sexual assault in prison can now report abuse, regardless of when it occurred, to pursue justice and compensation.

teenager being arrested by male police officer sexually abused in Maryland

Justice Awaits Survivors of Maryland Police Sex Abuse

We must hold the police accountable for their crimes, especially when they are using their authority and power to abuse and groom minors.

Bowling Green’s database included the following Maryland officers accused of abusing, grooming, raping, or soliciting minors:

  • Cpl. Tristan Thigpen, Prince George’s County
  • Pfc. Nicholas Christopher Bonsall, Baltimore City
  • Pfc. Christopher B. Dunkes, Montgomery County

But this short list is not close to exhaustive for officers charged with child sex crimes in Bowling Green’s Police Crime Database. Not all sexual abuses committed by police are reported or investigated.

The Yost Legal Group thanks writers Jessica Contrera, Jenn Abelson, John, D. Harden, Haydon Godfrey, and FOIA specialist Nate Jones for their collaborative effort on “Abused by the Badge.”

Are You a Survivor of Police Sexual Abuse in Maryland?

Were you or a loved one raped or sexually abused by a Maryland police officer or guard? The Yost Legal Group is here to support survivors like you. Our prison abuse lawyers will help you file a sex abuse lawsuit.

If you are ready to share your story, our experienced child sexual abuse lawyers are here to listen. You are not alone, and you are not to blame.

Call or text 410-659-6800 for a free consultation. Justice is within your reach.

We have spoken with many survivors of child sexual abuse claims and family members. If we file a sexual abuse claim on your behalf, our inmate abuse lawsuit lawyers will stand by you every step of the way.

Contact us today for a free, confidential consultation. We never charge upfront fees. In fact, it costs you nothing upfront for us to handle your case.

We are paid after we settle your case. And if there is no recovery, there are no fees or expenses due.

School District Pays $3.9 Million in Sexual Abuse Lawsuit

Lawsuit Won for Failing to Stop Abusive Paraeducator

The Tahoma School District recently paid a sexual abuse survivor $3.9 million to resolve a child sexual abuse lawsuit. The School District negligently continued to employ Bryan Neyers, a former para-teacher, after receiving allegations that he was sexually abusing and grooming students.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a student in January 2022 in King County Superior Court. The sexual abuse lawsuit alleges that the student was sexually abused when he was between 5 and 7 years old by a paraeducator. The molestation took place in Tahoma Elementary School’s Early Enrichment Program.

The alleged sexual abuse occurred between 2018 and 2020. The man faces child rape and molestation charges involving three young boys and first-degree rape charges involving a fourth child.

Neyers began working at Tahoma Elementary School in 2015. Within a year, the Maple Valley school district started receiving reports about Neyers’s concerning behavior, such as a lack of boundaries with students.

School officials did not meet with Neyers to address his behavior until June 2018. Even with that meeting, they still failed to take proper actions to address the issue, according to court documents.

If you or a loved one is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse in a school or other educational setting, you may have a case under Maryland’s new law. If you are ready to talk, we are here to listen. Call The Yost Legal Group for a free and confidential consultation at 1-800-967-8529. 

elementary school children sexually abused by assistant teacher

Protecting Children from Sexual Abuse: Understanding the Grooming Process

When it comes to sexual abuse, understanding the grooming process is crucial. In certain cases, grooming can be an independent intentional tort requiring a child sexual abuse attorney to prove damages.

Grooming serves as a warning sign, providing organizations and caregivers an opportunity to intervene and prevent the abuse from happening. Grooming often comes before the act of physical abuse. The grooming process usually has three stages:

  • Isolating: Most children know the importance of not accepting rides from unfamiliar adults. However, when the adults are a coach, teacher, sponsor, or other such person, a child might hesitate to refuse.

The adult may tell children they have special abilities and would benefit from one-on-one coaching or tutoring. Many children do not say no. Furthermore, many organizations allow such behavior, and caregivers do not see the red flag.

  • Gaining Trust: Over time, the one-on-one sessions can become more intimate. This intimacy is usually two-way. Groomers share secrets with children or, at least, makeup secrets to further gain trust. The transition could take a few weeks or a few years.

Frequently, the groomer also buys gifts for the targeted child. Inappropriate comments or activities usually begin at this point as well.

  • Concealing and Controlling the Relationship: One of the gifts might include a phone or other communication device. Inappropriate comments and activities escalate, usually accompanied by a “Don’t tell anyone about this.” Examples of these activities include photographing a child in a dance costume or playing with a child and “accidentally” touching the child’s genitals.

Fight back against child sexual assault with The Yost Legal Group

The most significant standalone grooming case to date might be 2011’s United States vs. Chambers (No. 09-3654). A jury convicted the defendant of violating the federal enticement statute.

Chambers argued that, although he chatted with an undercover agent for several months, he did not intend to meet “the girl,” nor did he take a substantial step toward meeting her.

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed, noting that “child sexual abuse can be accomplished by several means and is often carried out through a period of grooming.”

The court recognized that grooming refers to deliberate actions taken by a defendant to expose a child to sexual material. The defendant’s ultimate goal is to form an emotional connection with the child and reduce the child’s inhibitions to prepare the child for sexual activity.

The burden of proof in criminal court is beyond any reasonable doubt. The burden of proof in civil court is much lower. In that sense, even just a little evidence of grooming goes a long way.

parateacher sued for child molestation by sexual abuse lawyer

What are the kinds of sexual abuse?

Grooming a child is just one form of sexual abuse. It is also worth noting that “abuse” is different from “assault.” Only some forms of sexual abuse involve physical contact.

These kinds of abuse include:

  • Verbal: Crude jokes might be the most common form of verbal sexual abuse. Many of these abuse survivors do not speak up.

Usually, because they are afraid of the social or relational consequences of speaking up. One or two isolated incidents might not be actionable. But a pattern of conduct is a tort.

  • Ritualistic: We move from perhaps the most common form of sexual abuse to maybe the most uncommon form. Nevertheless, ritualistic abuse happens, and it hurts. Making matters worse, many survivors are brainwashed to accept things like incest rituals, genital mutilation, child marriage, and chants during abuse.
  • Visual: Unwanted exposure to explicit images is sexual abuse. Children cannot simply change the channel. Instead, they must bear the harmful consequences of uninvited exposure to sexually explicit photos, sexting or airdropping, and exhibitionism or flashing.
  • Physical: Examples of physical sexual abuse include non-consensual cornering, tickling, kissing, excessive cleaning of genitals, touching, fondling, physical restraint, enemas, invasion of privacy, and stalking. Disproportionate power relationships (teacher and student) influence the potential for physical sexual abuse.

The impact of child sexual abuse causes long-lasting mental and physical injuries such as Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The cumulative effects of this type of stressful situation on child sexual abuse survivors can alter brain chemistry.

The resulting imbalance causes symptoms like anger, depression, and hypervigilance. Any form of child sex abuse or sexual violence against a child is unacceptable. These acts on young athletes by sports coaches, or sexual contact by a YMCA employee all must be brought to justice.

young child feeling isolated after sexual abuse

Is an organization responsible if the abuse happened at their location?

Individuals are criminally responsible when they sexually abuse children. But criminal cases usually do not compensate victims. To obtain the compensation victims need and deserve, an experienced sexual assault lawyer typically uses the negligent supervision theory.

Organizations negligently supervise employees when they do not adequately investigate misconduct allegations or do not properly follow through on such allegations.

Unfortunately, many organizations do not take abuse allegations seriously, especially in non-violent sexual abuse cases. Instead, they sweep things under the rug. The Baltimore Catholic Church ignored such allegations for decades. That is the main reason Maryland lawmakers abolished the statute of limitations in these matters.

Sadly, organizations like the YMCA, the Boy Scouts, and Foster Care are all breeding grounds for pedophiles. These investigations must be transparent, efficient, and thorough. Then, when investigations end, organizations must take appropriate action based solely on the facts uncovered.

Contact a compassionate child sexual abuse lawyer

Under Maryland’s new law, childhood sexual abuse survivors are entitled to significant compensation. If you or a loved one was sexually abused by a teacher, guidance counselor, or other school faculty or staff, you may have a case.

For a free and confidential consultation with a compassionate childhood sexual abuse lawyer, call The Yost Legal Group today: 1-800-967-8529. You can also click this link to fill out a form online, and someone will contact you shortly.

Looking for signs of child sexual abuse is one indicator. If you think the Department of Education isn’t taking your complaint about harm to your child seriously, contact us. If your child was abused by a coach, we are here to help.

We should take sexual abuse in public schools vs. the catholic church very seriously. We must hold these organizations accountable.

Athlete Sexual Abuse Lawyer – Foster Care Sexual Abuse Lawyer – School Sexual Abuse Lawyer

Teacher Sexual Abuse Lawyer – Therapist Sexual Abuse Lawyer – Boy Scouts Sexual Abuse Lawyer

YMCA Sexual Abuse Lawyer – Athletic Trainer Sexual Abuse Lawyer