PRESS RELEASE: Georgia Passed Hidden Predator Act
First Lawsuit Under the Georgia Hidden Predator Act
Against Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), Paks Karate,
and Craig Peeples
Atlanta, Aug. 20, 2015 – A press conference was held today to announce the filing of a civil lawsuit on behalf of seven victims of karate instructor Craig Peeples. Leading national lawyer and advocate for child sex abuse victims, Marci A. Hamilton, Esq., and Robert Friedman, Esq., King & Spalding litigation partner in Atlanta, GA, addressed the media about the first lawsuit to be filed under the Georgia Hidden Predator Act.
Six of the men were the subject of a 2014 Georgia Bureau of Investigation (“GBI”) Report, which concluded that the six men had leveled credible charges of serious child sex abuse against Peeples, but the criminal statute of limitations had run, and, therefore, prosecution was barred.
The GBI Report and the fact that the perpetrator continues to operate as a karate instructor, under the imprimatur of both the Amateur Athletic Union and Paks Karate, despite the credible allegations, prompted the passage of the Hidden Predator Act, which increased access to justice for Georgia’s child sex abuse victims to file civil claims.
All seven victims were present and unified in their determination to obtain justice and to stand with all child sex abuse victims against the crimes perpetrated against them.
Marci Hamilton is one of the United States’ leading experts on child sex abuse in institutions and on access to justice for child sex abuse victims. Professor Hamilton is a Senior Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, Fox Leadership Program, Philadelphia, PA, and holds the Paul R. Verkuil Chair in Public Law at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University. She is a prolific author on the plight of child sex abuse victims in the legal system, including Justice Denied: What America Must Do to Protect Its Children (Cambridge University Press 2012). Professor Hamilton is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and received her law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She clerked for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor of the United States Supreme Court.
Robert Friedman is a partner with King & Spalding’s Tort Litigation Practice in the firm’s Atlanta office, where he represents foreign and domestic companies in high exposure product liability, personal injury, and commercial cases across the country.
James Vines is a partner with King & Spalding in the firm’s Atlanta office. He previously served as United States Attorney and in that role indicted and prosecuted numerous cases of child pornography and sex trafficking. Following law school, he was a law clerk for Hon. William H. Rehnquist, Chief Justice, United States Supreme Court.
About King & Spalding
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.
Marci A. Hamilton
Professor at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law
King & Spalding