Friedman & Ranzenhofer, PC represents students in New York public, religious, and private schools and other educational institutions sexually abused by teachers, coaches or staff.

As with any case of institutional sexual abuse, there are two types of claims that can be filed against predators in schools: criminal charges and civil claims. For a civil action, you can not only sue the teacher or coach who is the perpetrator, but according to New York law, school districts can also be held liable for failing to prevent or report abuse.

Sexually Abused in SchoolAccording to a nationwide survey of 8th to 11th-grade students, nearly 7%, or about 3.5 million students, report having received physical sexual contact from an adult at their school, most commonly a teacher or coach.  These students describe unwanted touching on their breasts, buttocks, and/or genitals; forced kissing and/or hugging; oral and/or genital contact; and vaginal and/or anal intercourse.  Reports of other types of school employee misconduct, including sharing pornography, sexual talk, sexual exhibitionism, and/or masturbation, raised the proportion to about 10%, or nearly 4.5 million students.

By speaking up you are stopping the cycle. You will stand up for your rights and protect the rights of future students. When you bring a sexual abuse suit against a school district and its employee, you are fighting for the institutional corrections and preventing this abuse from happening again.  However, it is important to have an experienced attorney by your side to assist you and your family during this time.


Child abuse is the perfect crime because its victims are often too embarrassed, confused, or fearful to speak out about it. Many victims wait years, even decades to talk. Unfortunately, in most circumstances, once in the grip of a child molester, many minors stand little chance of effectively resisting. For these reasons, institutions need to be ever vigilant about the predatory threats posed to the children under their care and supervision

When a child is sexually abused both the perpetrator and the institution where the abuse occurred can be held accountable in a court of law. The criminal justice system serves a vital role in punishing the perpetrators, but falls short of fully compensating victims for their physical and emotional injuries. Furthermore, a criminal prosecution rarely holds the institution which employed the predator responsible. While a civil action seeking financial damages cannot entirely erase the trauma of abuse, it is the best method that our legal system has devised for righting at least a part of these devastating wrongs.

In sexual abuse cases filed either by parents on behalf of their children or by adult survivors, damages in the form of financial compensation can be sought for emotional and psychological injuries including, but not limited to, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, addiction, and other provable injuries.

Most sexual abuse cases are settled prior to trial. Nonetheless, it is essential to seek out an an attorney who is not just well-versed in all aspects of sexual abuse litigation, but has the experience and skills needed to litigate these cases if necessary.

According to The Wall Street Journal, at least 26 public-school districts across the U.S. agreed to at least $37 million in settlements stemming from allegations of sexual harassment or sexual assault of students, teachers or other employees in 2017.The 26 settlements were reached in states from California to Connecticut and ranged from $30,000 to $8.25 million. The Journal tally represents a small sampling of the more than 13,000 school districts in the U.S.  The settlements often came about when the institutions failed to appropriately respond to the allegations or appropriately punish the perpetrators.


The New York Child Victim’s Act (“CVA”) provides all abuse survivors, regardless of their current age, until August 21, 2021 to bring legal action against their abusers. The United States Bankruptcy Court has set a deadline of November 16, 2020 for filing bankruptcy claims. This means that, beginning August 14, 2019, even those that were previously time-barred by the statute of limitations can file claims even if their abusers have died. It is incredibly important, therefore, to contact Friedman & Ranzenhofer, PC us as soon as possible to learn about your options since your time to file a claim may be limited.

Buffalo Public Schools are among the at least three New York school districts that were first sued under the CVA. Examples of CVA cases are:

  • A female gym teacher, who groomed and sexually abused a 13-year-old girl at East Aurora Middle School in the 1970s gained access to her by visiting her home to offer comfort when the girl’s mother died.
  • A former science teacher at Buffalo Public Schools harassed, exposed, and molested a male student approximately five days a week over two years in the 1980s when the teen was 14 and 15. He was placed in the alleged pedophile’s care for study hall, class, tutoring, after-school activities, and summer school, according to court documents.
  • A former coach at a suburban Monroe County school groomed a male student for sex on school grounds starting when the boy was 8 years old in the 1960s and abusing him until he was in his teens.
  • A custodian at an Allegany County middle school began raping and molesting a female student at the age of 12.

For victims of sexual abuse, choosing an attorney can often be challenging and stressful, however finding the right legal representation is of paramount importance in seeking justice from the parties responsible for the sexual abuse.

Contact us for a legal consultation.