Is a camp responsible if a counselor rapes another counselor?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Is a camp responsible if a counselor rapes another counselor?

My 18 year old daughter was raped at camp while she volunteered as a counselor by another

counselor. Is the camp responsible for hiring a rapist? Responsible for having alcohol

available to under age employees? Responsible for this happening on their property? She didn’t press charges but did go to hospital and did get a rape kit done. I was not informed. They also fired the man who did it and had him gone by the time she got back from hospital. She stayed and worked the next week as well. This camp runs on all volunteer staff. They have kids from 8-17 there.

Asked on July 22, 2016 under Personal Injury, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

They are only responsible if you can show that they were negligent (unreasonably careless) in how they hired people (e.g. hiring someone whom a reasonably employer would have known was inappropriate to work at a camp) or in how they supervised their staff, either your daughter's attacker specifically (e.g., if there had been complaints against him for harassing, stalking, being a peeping Tom, etc. but they ignored them) or the counselors generally (e.g. ignoring complaints or evidence of alcohol at camp, if alcohol contributed to the attack). You have to show actual fault on the camp's part to hold them responsible, since an employer is not responsible for the criminal acts of employees (since those criminal acts are not within the scope of, or part of, employment), and a property owner or lessee is not liable for criminal acts committed on its property, unless there was fault.
The attacked himself can be sued no matter what, and if you have not already, should press criminal charges.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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