A former Bowling Green State University Professor, Timothy Davis, was found guilty of rape after changing his earlier not guilty plea. He was originally indicted in Lucas County Common Pleas Court in Toledo, Ohio for rape and sexual conduct with a victim known only to be under the age of 10 years old. According to court records, he changed his original plea on the charge to that of an Alford Plea, which means the defendant does not admit guilt but agrees that if the case were to be heard in a trial with a factfinder or jury there would be enough evidence to find him guilty. Timothy Davis was placed on paid leave back in September when he was originally charged but then later resigned his position with Bowling Green State University.
Position Status and Abuse
In this case his activities seem not to involve his role or his position as a university professor. However, many times abusers use their position and status to place themselves into positions of trust to then take advantage in order to single out and abuse their victims. Being a university professor allows an individual a certain amount of respect and perceived power. Such respect and power allows the abuser a greater sense of control over some victims. Abusers often wield this perceived power to keep victims under their control and silent about the relationship and the abusive actions that are taking place.
Additionally, employers – like universities – may be held liable if they hire or continue to employ a known sex offender and that individual assaults someone while in the scope of employment. Employers have a duty of care in terms of hiring, to not negligently hire when the employer knows, or should know, of facts that would warn a reasonable person that the individual presents an undue risk of harm to others.
As for sex offenders in particular, employers may be liable for negligent hiring where the employee comes into contact with people similar to those previously assaulted (i.e., children or students). The majority of states maintain a sex offender registry that employers can check before hiring, even if they do not do an official background check.
Reach Out to Our Legal Team Today
Our firm investigates cases of sexual assault. We can hold an abuser, or those who negligently hired them, accountable. Where sometimes criminal charges may not be possible, financial compensation still can provide provides an avenue for justice. If you or a family member has been a victim of sexual assault, please call our offices for a confidential, no-obligation consultation so we may help you today.