Leo B. Dubler, III Esq. won a case before the NJ Supreme Court on behalf of a five-year-old girl who was repeatedly sexually assaulted by an aide on a Waterford School District bus. In a unanimous decision, the Court ruled yesterday that the family of the child could continue to pursue claims against the school district that the aide violated the child’s rights under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD).
Over five months between 2009 and 2010, the child was repeatedly sexually assaulted by a 76-year-old school bus aide, who later admitted to abusing other children and pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual assault. He was sentenced to eight years in a state facility for sex offenders.
In 2014, Mr. Dubler filed a violation of civil rights lawsuit against the district, the school board, and the bus operator, arguing that the NJLAD protects employees and others in schools, on school buses, and in other public places.
The NJ Supreme Court’s decision reverses two previous lower court rulings denying the family’s discrimination claims, stating the bus aide had not specifically targeted the child because of her gender. The high court rejected the appellate court’s findings that no evidence showed the bus aide targeted only female students and that the assaults were not fueled by gender discrimination, noting he had also assaulted at least one male child. The justices also stated that the Division on Civil Rights defines sexual harassment as encompassing “all physical conduct of a sexual nature.”
“New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination is a powerful tool in the fight against harassment and discrimination,” Mr. Dubler said. “But for it to be effective, courts must enforce it. Today, the New Jersey Supreme Court did just that.”
If you are experiencing sexual harassment, contact The Law Offices of Leo B. Dubler, III, LLC. Call 856-235-7075 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Mount Laurel and Atlantic City, New Jersey, we serve clients in South Jersey, including Cherry Hill, Burlington County, and Camden County.