Property owners, building managers, security companies, employers, and others must take reasonable steps to protect against sexual assaults committed by their employees and by intruders on their properties. Employers, for example, should conduct background checks on prospective employees, especially when those employees (e.g., school sports coaches) interact with minors. Apartment building owners should ensure their buildings have tamper proof door and windows locks, well lit walkways and parking areas, alarmed exterior doors to detect when doors are ajar or propped open, and institute other appropriate security measures. Property owners and building managers also must warn tenants about crimes committed on or near their properties. Sexual assault victims can bring civil actions against third parties that fail to employ reasonable safety measures that could have protected them from assault.Experience and Track Record
Washington, D.C. sexual assault victim lawyer Douglas Sparks has brought dozens of successful civil cases on behalf of sexual assault victims. His clients include a woman raped in an apartment building, several teenage girls molested by their high school basketball coach, a woman raped in a hotel room, several women molested by medical technicians in ambulances, a cleaning woman raped while working in a condominium building, a minor girl raped in a public school, a young man molested by a chaplain, and prisoners raped at D.C. correctional facilities. He and his seasoned private investigators personally inspect crime scenes and interview potential witnesses to identify and document all security deficiencies that may have contributed to a sexual assault.
Mr. Sparks’ extensive experience with the criminal justice system enables him to coordinate with law enforcement authorities and guide assault victims through criminal prosecutions when their assailants are apprehended. He also obtains investigative reports, witness statements, and crime scene evidence from detectives and prosecutors whenever possible. You can read news coverage about Mr. Sparks’ Sexual Assault cases here.Representative Cases Handled by Douglas Sparks
- Several New York insurance adjusters - all women - flew to Maryland for a training program conducted by their employer, a major automobile insurance company. They stayed at a Holiday Inn during the two week program. Late one night, an intoxicated and disheveled man entered the Holiday Inn through an unlocked entrance. He was not a hotel guest, yet nobody questioned him because employees had left the front desk unattended. The man boarded a hotel elevator and rode it to an upper level guest room corridor. He forced his way into one woman’s room where he beat, raped, and attempted to smother her. She broke free and ran from the room – naked and screaming - to the hotel’s ground floor. Several guests heard her screams and called 911. Police officers arrived quickly and arrested the man as he tried to flee the scene. Washington, D.C. sexual assault victim attorney Douglas Sparks sued the hotel’s ownership over its shoddy security procedures. The case settled before trial for a very substantial sum. You can read more about this case here.
- A young woman moved to Washington, D.C. to pursue a post graduate fellowship. She rented an apartment in a multiunit building that had a communal laundry room located in the basement. While the woman was doing laundry one night, a man entered the building through an unsecured rear door and sexually assaulted her in the laundry room. The assailant fled through the same unsecured door he had used to enter the building. The man was apprehended a few months later after sexually assaulting another woman in a nearby building. Mr. Sparks filed suit against the building’s owners and their property management company. The case settled before trial for a very large sum. You can read the client’s review here and news coverage about the case here.
- A young Latina woman was hired by a property management company to clean common areas in an upscale condominium building. The building was equipped with numerous closed circuit video cameras, including one at the front entrance, to enable management to monitor activity in the building. On Christmas Eve, all property management employees except the cleaning woman were given the day off. An intruder entered the building through the front door while the woman was cleaning the building’s lower level. When the man encountered the woman, he forced her into a bathroom where he raped her. Although several video cameras recorded the man’s activities, no property management employees were on duty to monitor the cameras, deter the assault, or summon police. Suit was filed against the building’s owners and the property management company. The case settled before trial for a confidential sum. You can read news coverage about this case here.
If you’ve been sexually assaulted, you should call Washington, D.C. sexual assault lawyer Douglas Sparks at (202) 797-8200, fill out his online case inquiry form, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.