Posted in News on March 11, 2019
Heenan & Cook, PLLC attorney John Heenan is leading a lawsuit against a former athletic trainer from Miles City, Montana. James “Doc” Jensen, 78, from Miles City, served as a trainer for Custer County District High School until 1998. For over 20 years, Jensen abused his position to groom and molest over 18 boys in his care, according to the lawsuit filed by Heenan & Cook, PLLC. Heenan hopes that the outcome of this lawsuit will enable the victims to find peace and resolution for the abuse they suffered.
Child Abuse Lawsuit Filed Against Jensen
Heenan & Cook, PLLC filed this lawsuit in conjunction with Miles City attorneys Dan Rice and Bryant Martin. Jensen served as an athletic trainer for the Custer County District High School and the Miles City Unified School District beginning in the 1970s through 1998. Heenan & Cook, PLLC has identified over 18 alleged victims – and the number is climbing. Many more victims may be involved in this case and the attorneys believe the number could be as high as 100 victims.
Jensen was very involved in the athletic programs at Custer County District High School. He attended workouts, scrimmages, and traveled with team members to competitions away from school. As an athletic trainer, Jensen was responsible for performing district-mandated physical exams on these student athletes. During these exams and other therapies for the students, Jensen took advantage of his positions to sexually abuse several boys, according to the lawsuit.
Jensen’s abuse ended in 1998 when he left the district. It is unclear whether he departed on his own terms or the district terminated him. The reason for his departure was a complaint from a parent due to the nature of Jensen’s physicals on the athletes. It is unsure whether the parent or the school knew about the nature of the abuse. As such, the Miles City Unified School District, Custer County District High School, and John Does A-Z are defendants in the lawsuit in addition to Jensen.
Montana Child Sex Crime Law
Under Montana law, victims of child sex abuse have 20 years from the date of the victim turns 18 years old to file criminal charges against their abuser. However, many of Jensen’s victims experienced abuse prior to the 20-year deadline. It is unclear what crimes Jensen could be responsible for. Some of the younger victims named in this lawsuit, who were as young as 14 when the abuse occurred, may be eligible to pursue criminal charges.
In a lawsuit against a person for child sexual abuse, the attorneys can include a number of causes of action for which to hold the defendant responsible. These causes of action include assault and battery, the intentional infliction of emotional distress, and the negligent infliction of emotional distress. In addition, employers who failed to properly monitor or screen an employee who sexually abused children could be liable in the lawsuit – which is why the administration from the Miles City United School District and Custer County District High School are also defendants in the lawsuit.
While criminal charges may be in question, this civil lawsuit can provide reprieve to victims outside of these criminal charges. With these charges, the victims of Jensen could receive financial compensation to recover from the damages they suffered as a result of the abuse. The primary damages that a victim in a Billings child sex abuse lawsuit could claim would stem from the physical and emotional harm that the victims suffered and continue to suffer.
- Loss of quality of life
- Emotional distress
- Mental anguish
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Depression and anxiety
- Fear and anger
- Other emotional and physical pain and suffering damages
- Medical expenses, such as therapy costs, medications, and hospitalizations
- Disability and impairment
With this lawsuit, the victims of Doc Jensen could find a sense of resolution and closure. If you are a victim of Jensen, it is not too late to join the lawsuit. Contact the attorneys and learn more about the litigation here.