DENVER (KDVR) – Many parents have questions about notification rights after learning of the Florida arrest of a cheer coach from Colorado.
Travon Booker, 35, is accused of inappropriately touching a minor while alone with that person in a gym. The warrant was issued out of the Adams County Sheriff’s Office and said the incident allegedly occurred on Feb. 18.
FOX31 received a copy of an email sent by Steele Athletics sent to members stating Travon Booker had been fired immediately after the staff learned of charges against him. The management is working with Adams County investigators and the family of the child named in the case.
Legal experts: There’s a thin line for businesses
Legal experts told FOX31 that there is a thin line between what a business can share with parents and what it can’t say without putting its operation in jeopardy.
Lawyer Ryan Robertson of Robinson & Henry, P.C. said that “an allegation or a charge is just that, there’s been no finding or conviction.”
Businesses have to balance ensuring the safety of clients with abiding by the law regarding defamation.
“There are a lot more safeguards that go into this than just, ‘Have you been charged?’ And if the employer gets it wrong, they can find themselves in some sort of civil hot water,” Robertson said.
Some businesses opt to have employees who are charged with crimes reveal the information on their own.
“Colorado is not going to mandate, however, if you are a local fast food restaurant (for example), they’re going to mandate that you turn around and make the employee tell everybody, ‘I’ve been charged with burglary,’ or ‘I’ve been charged with domestic violence,'” Robertson said.
What Colorado laws say about liability
When it comes to a civil case, the recently passed Child Sexual Abuse Accountability Act holds any government organization or private business liable if it fails to protect minors against potential abuse.
“Whether it be sexual or otherwise, if the business is aware that person is an offender and can be a threat to minors on the property, that business could have a liability civilly,” said Robinson & Henry lawyer Jon Topolewski.
Colorado’s Premise Liability Act protects those who are adults.
“If a business knew or should have known that somebody could be injured or suffer harm on the property, that business has an obligation to protect those people,” Topolewski said.
Both legal experts tell the Problem Solvers a parent’s best means of protecting their child is to investigate a business’s record and do a sex offender search on staff members who will have immediate contact with the child.