As of February 2019, victims of sexual abuse gained new rights to bring about lawsuits against individuals, public institutions, and private institutions that caused them harm. This is due to the Child Victims Act that was passed by the New York State Legislature in late January 2019.
This bill changes the previous statute of limitations on prosecuting child sexual abuse crimes and filing civil lawsuits for damages against individuals or institutions that contributed to the sexual abuse.
The Child Victims Act permits the following:
This new act finally gives survivors who have kept quiet for decades the opportunity to obtain the justice they deserve.
- Individuals who suffered through childhood sexual abuse can file a civil lawsuit against their abusers (and institutions) until they are 55 years old.
- Survivors may file felony charges against their offender before they turn 28.
- Victims of child sexual abuse may pursue misdemeanor charges against their abuser until they are 25.
- There is a 1 year “look back window” in which survivors of any age can file a claim against their abuser. There is a 6-month period before this window will open.
- If your case had been previously dismissed due to the statute of limitations, you may file a new lawsuit against the parties that harmed you.
- Victims of child sex abuse which took place in public institutions can now file against the entity without having to submit a notice of claim or notice of intention for filing.
Unfortunately, children are extremely vulnerable to be targeted as victims of sexual abuse. It is estimated that 1 in 3 girls are sexually abused before the age of 18, while 1 in 5 boys will experience some form of sexual abuse as well.
Adults and individuals in a position of higher power often exploit a child’s naivety and violate their trust.
The following individuals may be perpetrators of child sexual abuse:
Sexual abuse can include a wide variety of actions include but not limited to:
- Family member(s)
- School faculty member(s)
- Religious figurehead (i.e. priest/pastor)
- Foster parent(s)
- Law enforcement officer(s)
- Medical professional(s)
- Any age-inappropriate sexual behavior
- Attempted or completed rape
- Forced view of pornography and other sexual acts
- Unwanted sexual touching or groping of genitals
- Inappropriate online interaction
- Masturbation in front of a child
- Sexual exploitation or trafficking
It is important to note that sexual abuse is not just “sex” but can include touching, kissing, oral sex or anything sexual.
Survivors of childhood sexual abuse that plan on filing a new lawsuit under the Child Victims Act should know that even if their perpetrator had previously been acquitted in a criminal court, they will still be able to file a civil lawsuit.
Our experienced and compassionate child abuse lawyers at Hach & Rose, LLP are ready to earn your trust. Contact us today at 646-632-2017 to begin on the path of healing.
It is important to know that not only can the abuser be held accountable for their crimes but any other party that may have contributed by engaging or enabling child sexual abuse can face a lawsuit as well.
Any of the following entities can be held liable upon evidence:
- Entities that are responsible for the behavior of individuals working for them such as:
- Institutions (Ex. Church)
- Organizations (Ex. Youth Organizations)
- Employers (Ex. Schools)
- Individuals that owned property that lacked proper security to prevent sexual abuse.
- An employer who hired or failed to terminate a known perpetrator.
- A government or professional entity that failed to report instances of abuse.
- Any individual or institution that took part or enabled the crimes.
I have known and worked with Stan Spero for many years. His compassion with his clients is like no other I’ve ever seen or from other attorneys. – Cindy, AVVO
You may file civil or criminal charges under the Child Victims Act.
If the perpetrator is convicted in a criminal lawsuit, they can face severe punishment and serve jail time according to the degree of sexual assault. Filing a new case if your previous one had been dismissed as a result of an expired statute of limitations should be highly considered.
Filing a civil lawsuit may allow you to seek financial recovery for the damages you have suffered. Although there is no standard amount of compensation for victims of childhood sexual assault, the following damages may be recovered:
- Medical expenses
- Loss of income due to injury
- Stolen or damaged property
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
It is crucial to seek out a reputable child sexual assault lawyer that has the necessary trial experience to assist you in your situation and provide meaningful guidance during this difficult time.
Time and again, the attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP have defended individuals that have dealt with the physical and emotional suffering caused by being sexually abused in their youth.
If you are ready to have your story heard, the team at Hach & Rose, LLP is ready to stand by you. Through skillful litigation and an extensive knowledge of childhood sexual abuse laws, our lawyers will help you to secure the justice and financial recovery you deserve.