Can I be sued if my 15 year-old son got caught touching a 13 year-oldgirl on her privates?

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Can I be sued if my 15 year-old son got caught touching a 13 year-oldgirl on her privates?

My son snuck into his sister’s room and touched her friend’s privates; she was was spending the night. When the girl woke up, he said sorry and left the room. I am concerned that her parent could sue me personally for his actions. We were home but sleeping in our room. She had her mother’s permission to spend the night. My son is currently in counseling for his actions and a police investigation was initiated at our request.

Asked on June 8, 2011 under Personal Injury, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

It is *possibly* you could be sued. As a parent, you are responsible for the actions of your minor child, especially committed in your home, under your supervision. Therefore, as a general matter, if your son could have been sued (were he an adult) for the action, you, as his parents, may be sued. And unwanted touching or sexual assault (and that's what this is--a form of sexual assault) can lead to a lawsuit. All that said, in a civil lawsuit, absent exceptionally bad circumstances, someone can only sue for compensation for injuries or damage. Unless there was some physical injury, it would seem that the only possibility to sue her *might* be for intentional infliction of emotional harm and/or the cost of any now-needed counseling. So there is a possibility, to seems, for  a lawsuit, and it would make sense for you to consult with an attorney (e.g. a personal injury attorney) to better understand any potential liability.


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