Queens Sexual Abuse Lawyer
One of the more heinous acts that a person can commit is sexual assault. Recognizing this fact, the State of New York severely punishes defendants who are found guilty of these crimes in criminal courts. However, while a criminal case will certainly punish the defendant, it will do little to soothe the mind of the affected parties. Criminal courts exist to punish crimes against the state.
In order for people who have been sexually abused to obtain monetary compensation against their abusers, they must file civil lawsuits. The Queens sexual abuse lawyer represents plaintiffs who have suffered sexual abuse in their civil cases against their abusers. The experienced attorney fights by their side to obtain monetary compensation for them and to complete the pursuit of justice against the abuser.
New York Sexual Abuse Laws
Sexual abuse is a criminal act. Any party of sexual abuse should immediately contact their local police department. Even if the abuser is arrested, brought to trial, and convicted, this will only occur on the criminal side of the law. In order for the plaintiff to recover monetary damages, a separate case must be started in the civil courts. It is entirely the responsibility of the plaintiff to initiate and prosecute the claim.
These claims must be filed under legally recognized causes of action, or torts. Oddly, there is no tort known as sexual abuse. Instead, plaintiffs must fit the facts of their case into other, pre-defined, torts. These may include:
- Battery – Any intentional, unauthorized touching of a person by another is defined as battery. This includes touching of a sexual nature.
- Assault – Placing another person in fear of physical harm can occur when a person is threatened with sexual battery.
- False Imprisonment – When a person is held against their will. This can be present in more severe forms of sexual abuse such as kidnapping or rape.
- Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress – Making a person feel unsafe or harassed.
Any civil claim alleging sexual abuse must be framed into one or more of these pre-defined torts. A Queens sexual abuse lawyer will examine an individual’s case to determine which causes of action best fit the facts.
Statute of Limitations in Sexual Abuse Cases
Potential plaintiffs must also be aware of the statute of limitations. This is a legislated time limit within which a plaintiff must start their case in court. There are no special provisions for adults affected by sexual abuse and the statute of limitations for any harm caused by an intentional act is only one year.
However, if the abuse is a defined sexual crime, the limit is extended to five years. With regards to the sexual abuse of a minor, the statute of limitations for infants is tolled or “frozen” until they are 18, at which point the “normal” statute of limitations begins. Therefore, since many allegations of sexual abuse are coupled with a criminal investigation, plaintiffs may have an extended time limit to pursue their cases.
Talk to a Queens Sexual Abuse Attorney Today
Standing up to someone after sexual abuse is one of the bravest things that a person can do. Simply calling the police and filing a report takes a great amount of personal courage.
However, while the police may arrest and ultimately convict the abuser in criminal court, plaintiffs still have the right and the sole ability to pursue a civil case for monetary compensation. A Queens sexual abuse lawyer represents abused individuals in their pursuit of justice. The attorney works with individuals in a compassionate and thorough manner to obtain evidence, file complaints, and argue their case in court.