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A Young Deaf Woman Receives Compensation After Being Sexually Abused by a Taxi Driver

Case Overview
  • Our client was a young deaf lady who suffered sexual abuse for a period of 12 months, as a minor, at the hands of a taxi driver.
  • As a late teen, she reported the abuse she suffered as a 10-year-old to a high school student.
  • Our skilled and experienced lawyers at Gerard Malouf & Partners had our client medically examined by a Psychiatrist and proceeded to an early mediation and were then able to reach a resolution and settle our client’s civil claim for compensation.

We recently settled a matter for a young deaf lady who suffered sexual abuse for a period of 12 months, as a minor, at the hands of a taxi driver who transported her to and from school, as part of the school’s service for students with special needs due to disability. Our client was profoundly deaf.

As part of an arrangement with her school, our client was collected from her home each morning to be taken to school and was dropped off each afternoon at the conclusion of school by the same taxi driver who was an employee of a sub-contractor of the taxi-driving company.

This predator took advantage of our young and vulnerable client who was deaf and helpless, and he sexually abused her for at least 12 months while she was a year 5 student and only 10 years of age. The abuse took place in the taxi whilst he transported her to and from school.

As a late teen, our client reported the abuse she suffered as a 10 year old to a high school student who then did the right thing and reported it to the principal of their high school who then reported the complaint to NSW Police. The taxi driver was questioned and charged by the police. He faced a criminal trial as he pleaded not guilty but was eventually found guilty by a Jury and was sentenced to a long imprisonment.

The abuse has had a profound impact on our client’s life who suffers from PTSD, comorbid depression, anxiety, shock and psychological sequalae. The subject abuse has caused significant disruptions to our client’s education, thereby diminishing her future employment opportunities and career prospects.

"Although the effects of abuse on children may vary in nature and extent, it is undeniable that such traumatic experiences have life-long repercussions. Be it one’s future career trajectory, ability to build and sustain healthy relationships or maintain positive mental health and wellbeing – the consequences of sexual abuse on a person are often detrimental and can severely diminish a person’s opportunities in life."

JULIE BAQLEH
Our Approach

Our client’s mother contacted Gerard Malouf and Partners and we investigated a claim for civil damages against the school and the taxi company contracted by the school to provide such service. 

While the sum of money received by the client will not resolve the traumatic experience of abuse that our client had to suffer or reverse past wrongs, it does provide our client with recognition of the abuse she suffered as a vulnerable child who was isolated and powerless before the perpetrator who was in a position of power, trust and authority.  

The Result

We had our client medically examined by a Psychiatrist and we proceeded to an early mediation. We were able to reach a resolution and settle our client’s civil claim for compensation.

Julie Baqleh Lawyer

Julie Baqleh

Partner
My idea of success is to offer my clients a sympathetic listening ear and to understand their needs.
Frequently Asked Questions

More Information

Division 10 of the Crimes Act 1900 outlines the criminal offence of sexual assault, as well as the definitions for ‘sexual intercourse’ and other related terminology.

Put simply, sexual assault constitutes any unwanted sexual behaviour committed by one person or a group of people towards another without consent. Continue reading for more information.

The commission has hit headlines recently due to its work in uncovering child sexual abuse claims against various religious organisations across Australia.

However, it’s not just the church that the agency investigates; all major institutions fall under its remit, including schools, sports clubs and government organisations. The authority explores private, public and non-government bodies that have at any point in time interacted with children.

Child abuse laws strengthened in 2015

NSW Parliament passed new sentencing laws in 2015 that increased the maximum jail time for guilty verdicts on child abuse cases.

Previously, Section 66A(1) of the Crimes Act 1900 stated that people convicted of sexual intercourse with a child aged under 10 years could be sentenced to a maximum of 25 years in prison. The standard non-parole period (SNPP), which sets the minimum term they must serve before being considered for an early release, was 15 years.

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