Sexual Abuse of Minors
In 2007, a fifty-five year old police officer and head of the Brownwood Explorer group was convicted of multiple counts of sexual assault and indecency with a child. Despite the numerous legal hurdles involved in cases against municipalities, Jeff devised a strategy to hold the government accountable for their role in failing to prevent the abuse from starting and from continuing. As a result of his efforts, the young girl was able to settle her case in 2010 (for a confidential amount), move away from the area and begin her life with financial security. While she will always have to live with the knowledge that the people she trusted most betrayed her, she showed strength and courage well beyond her years in taking the people that failed her to court and now takes great pride in holding such individuals and entities responsible.
In addition, Jeff represented three young girls who were threatened with sexual abuse by an Austin Parks Department employee. After Jeff discovered evidence suggesting a pattern of abuse by this individual, the City settled the case for $425,000 and made policy changes because of the lawsuit that made abuse much less likely.
Finally, Jeff was called in by the Texas Civil Rights Project to represent three young men who had been sexually abused in the Texas Youth Commission system. In conjunction with a class action to make systemic changes in the ways assaults were reported and medications distributed, Jeff was able to obtain $410,000 for the victims after attorneys’ fees and expenses. For his work on this case and others, the Texas Civil Rights Project named Jeff one of its Pro Bono Champions in 2008.