ATLANTA, Aug. 21, 2015 — King & Spalding, along with Cardozo Law School professor Marci Hamilton, filed the first civil lawsuit yesterday under the Georgia Hidden Predator Act, the new state law that extends the civil statute of limitations on sexual abuse crimes.
Hamilton and King & Spalding litigators, working on a pro bono basis, filed the lawsuit on behalf of seven men who were sexually abused as children by their karate instructor, Craig Peeples. Six of the men were the subject of a 2014 Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) report, which concluded that there was sufficient evidence to seek to indict Peeples on numerous child sex abuse charges, but the Georgia criminal statute of limitations had run, and, therefore, prosecution was barred. Under the Hidden Predator Act, the victims can now seek justice in civil court. The suit also alleges that the Amateur Athletic Union, USA Taekwondo and Pak’s Karate are responsible for permitting the years of abuse to occur.
The GBI Report and the fact that the perpetrator continues to operate as a karate instructor—despite the credible allegations—contributed to the passage of the Hidden Predator Act and motivated the seven survivors to press forward with a lawsuit.
Hamilton is a leading advocate for child sex abuse victims and is the author of “Justice Denied: What America Must Do to Protect Its Children” (Cambridge University Press 2012). King & Spalding’s team is being led by Atlanta-based partners Jim Vines and Robert Friedman. Vines previously served as United States Attorney and in that role indicted and prosecuted numerous cases of child pornography and sex trafficking. Friedman is a partner with the firm’s Tort Litigation Practice whose practice focuses on high-exposure product liability, personal injury and commercial cases.
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Celebrating more than 125 years of service, King & Spalding is an international law firm that represents a broad array of clients, including half of the Fortune Global 100, with 800 lawyers in 17 offices in the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. The firm has handled matters in over 160 countries on six continents and is consistently recognized for the results it obtains, uncompromising commitment to quality, and dedication to understanding the business and culture of its clients. More information is available at www.kslaw.com.