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David O’Connor

A Call for Witnesses: Survivors of Sexual Predator David O’Connor

In 1977, sexual predator David O’Connor was convicted on various felony charges of “indecent liberties” with minors. He was admitted to the Sexual Psychopath Program at Western State Hospital for inpatient therapy, discharged, readmitted and discharged, and ultimately released from supervision based on many positive recommendations from his employer and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), of which O’Connor had been an active member. In particular, James R. Ely, the president of the Tacoma Washington South Stake, was one of David O’Connor’s most fervent advocates and wrote that he “would be happy to sponsor or take responsibility for Mr. O’Connor at any time … [and] would be happy to give [his] personal guarantee that [Mr. O’Connor] is no longer a threat to society.”

Where did David O’Connor sexually abuse his victims?

Despite his felony conviction of Indecent Liberties, the LDS church allowed David O’Connor to participate in its church activities and take an active role in its Scout Troops until 2014. O’Connor was also hired by the University Place School District, where he served as a volunteer assistant coach at Curtis Junior High School from 2003 – 2006 and at Curtis High School from 2006 – 2008, roles that provided him unfettered access to children.

What are the charges against David O’Connor?

The years following his release from the Sexual Psychopath Program saw no end to his sexual predation. In 2022, the University Place School District agreed to pay more than $4.2 million to former student-athletes who allegedly suffered sexual abuse by O’Connor. The suit accused the school district of breaching many of its duties, including failure to protect children from sexual abuse by hiring O’Connor. Attorneys for the victims say the alleged abuse occurred on school grounds and in various homes. The settlements went to six former student-athletes who were sometimes told that O’Connor needed to examine them for fitness to engage in the sport – followed by fondling and other sex acts. In all, 11 individuals have filed civil claims alleging they were sexually abused by O’Connor, and some cases against the school district remain in litigation.

I think I was abused by David O’Connor. However, it was long ago, and I was a child. Can I still sue?

Most likely. In Washington State, a special statute of limitations allows many victims of childhood sexual abuse to file lawsuits for the abuse they suffered many years later, even as adults. That law recognizes that survivors of childhood sexual abuse may not realize or appreciate how the sexual abuse harmed them until much later in life. If you were sexually abused by David O’Connor, please contact us so that we can confidentially explain your legal options.

How can sexual abuse survivors seek damages?

Our attorneys have been involved in some of the most complicated and concerning sexual abuse cases in the country, and are often consulted by other law firms for guidance when representing sexual abuse survivors. We take a trauma-informed approach to our representation that acknowledges the sensitive nature of these cases.

Every case is different and our prior results – which depend on the facts of the case – cannot be guaranteed. However, we will fight to hold accountable the institutions and individuals who failed to protect survivors. Through our efforts, we have helped recover hundreds of millions of dollars in damages on behalf of abuse survivors. While no amount of monetary compensation can erase the trauma of abuse, the financial assistance can help pay for necessary expenses to allow the healing process to begin.

If you or someone you know has experienced sexual abuse or assault at the hands of David O’Connor, our attorneys are here to listen and help.

Schedule a no obligation consultation with one of our lawyers by completing our online form or calling us at (253) 948-3199 or (206) 536-2850. All conversations are completely confidential.

For information on what to look for when hiring a child sexual abuse lawyer, see our article on this topic.

Can I come forward or sue anonymously if I’m worried about my privacy?

Most likely. The law usually allows attorneys to file lawsuits on behalf of survivors of sexual abuse using a pseudonym, like “John Doe” or “Jane Doe,” or our client’s initials. Moreover, it may be possible to resolve your case privately without filing a lawsuit or going to court.

How much do you charge?

Our work is done on a contingency basis. This means that you do not pay us on an hourly basis, and we advance the costs of litigation. If we help you resolve your case, we receive a percentage of the amount you receive, and you reimburse us for the costs we advanced on your behalf.

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