Protecting Children from Sexual Abuse

Alexander Caballero and Ingrid Anderson's article "F.S. 39.0139:  Protecting Children from Sexual Abuse by Those Entrusted with Their Care" appears in the March 2008 edition of The Florida Bar Journal; highlights of the article are as follows:

* "The Florida Legislature passed the "Keeping Children Safe Act," F.S. 39.0139, effective July 1, 2007 in an effort to prevent sexual abuse during visitation pursuant to judicial determinations from those person the child is order to visit."

* "The three triggers which activate the protective procedures set forth in F.S. 39.0139 and create a rebuttable presumption of detriment to a child are when: (1) a parent or caregiver has been the subject of a report to the child abuse hotline alleging sexual abuse of any child as defined in s. 39.01; or (2) has been found guilty of, regardless of adjudication, or has entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to various Florida statutes or similar statutes in other states regarding sexual abuse of a child; or (3) has been determined by a court to be a sexual predator as defined by Florida statutes or similar laws of another jurisdiction."

* "The argument that the statute is subject to being abused in a dissolution of marriage setting or a domestic violence setting by a parent making a call to the child abuse hotline, alleging sexual abuse of the child by the other parent, which suspends the parent's visitation, shifts a burden of proof, and establishes the highest civil burden of proof, is not a reason to ignore F.S. 39.0139 in a dissolution or domestic violence setting.  The danger of further abuse and intimidation of sexually abused children outweighs the temporary suspension of a person's visitation until the court can have a hearing."

For more information or a free consultation on your legal issue contact The Law Offices of Charles D. Scott PLLC, your injury law and family law attorneys, at 727-300-4878.


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