A 16-year-old girl was reportedly the victim of a sexual assault at a Buena Vista Road apartment complex in Columbus Saturday evening, November 15, 2014.
According to The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, the teenage victim was verbally harassed and sexually battered at the Columbus apartment complex. No further details have been released and police have not identified a suspect in the assault.
Community residents have once again been left shaken by the incident. There is a history of apartment complex sexual assaults in the Buena Vista Road area, including the rape of a teenage girl in 2011 and the rape of a 20 year old woman in 2010.
Our Legal Take
Advocates for the victims of sexual assault and apartment negligence at The Murray Law Firm are following media updates of this latest local assault closely and question whether a potentially fatal security lapse may also hold responsibility in this horrific attack.
What efforts, if any, were made by the apartment owner and management to improve security measures and deter such violence following previous area assaults? How did these security precautions fail?
Was the assailant a resident of the apartment complex and, if not, how did the suspect gain access to the property? What access-controls, such as security fencing, ID controlled and gated entry, alarm systems, and security patrols, were in place and working at the time of the assault?
By law, apartment owners are required to protect residents and guests legally on premises from any foreseeable harm. Should a property owner have knowledge of previous crime on or near property, they have a duty to exercise extraordinary security measures to protect their residents and prevent future violence. Should they fail in this duty, they may be held civilly liable for any injuries or deaths that occur as a consequence.
Given the history of sexual assaults in the area, it is possible the owner and management of the Buena Vista Road apartment complex failed in their responsibility to protect this young victim. If so, she and her family may elect to hold the complex civilly liable. Claims of this magnitude, potentially in the millions of dollars, will demand the apartment complex finally make resident safety their first priority and send a clearly-needed message to other local apartment owners. Perhaps, through these claims, many other young victims may be spared such violence.
The Murray Law Firm has extensive experience in protecting victims of apartment assaults and property negligence and we offer our legal expertise, if needed. Anyone seeking further information or legal representation is encouraged to contact us at 706.494.2800. Consultations are free and confidential.