Sexual abuse is treated under criminal law. Therefore, when you hear the word sexual abuse, the first thing that comes to mind is rape. However, sexual abuse is much more than just rape.
Here is everything you should know about sexual abuse lawsuits and when to take the help of an expert sexual abuse lawyer.
What Are Sexual Abuse Lawsuits?
Sexual abuse, sexual assault, or criminal sexual abuse pertains to forced and non-consensual sexual acts. The laws related to sexual abuse vary from state to state.
Criminal sexual abuse covers every sexual activity done to gain control over the victim or victim’s body. It also covers harassment, humiliation, and degradation. The stricter the laws of the country regarding sexual abuse, the broader its scope.
The rape and sexual assault cases are rising every year. According to stats, one in every three women in America has been a victim of sexual abuse in some ways. In addition, every 9 minutes, a child is a victim of sexual abuse.
Talking about child sexual abuse, in certain states, it is classified under child molestation. However, when an adult is a victim of sexual abuse, it is stated as aggravated sexual abuse or rape.
Child sexual abuse is determined by different states differently depending on the age of the victim. But what is considered child sexual abuse? An individual could be charged with child sexual abuse or child molestation if they tried to engage the child in any sexual activity. This also includes forcing them to watch pornography. Also, any attempt made to arouse or gratify the child to fulfill your own sexual desires would be termed child sexual abuse.
Any sexual abuse case is considered an aggravated sexual abuse if it involves:
- Any use of a weapon
- The victim is more than 60 years old
- The victim has dementia or is unsound
- Threatening and endangering the victim if the victim doesn’t comply
Penalties Involved In Sexual Abuse Lawsuits
Again, the penalties levied over a sexual abuse offender vary from state to state due to different state laws. However, the most common consequences the convicted person have to face include:
- Sure jail time depending on the severity of the crime
- Getting registered as a sex offender in the eyes of the law and public
- Losing your legal right to vote
- End up losing child custody
- Penalties in the form of hefty criminal fines
- Completing sex offender treatment community programs
Defenses Used In A Criminal Sexual Abuse Case
A good sexual abuse attorney would know the right ways to defend your case. However, defending a sexual abuse case is difficult. The two common defenses used to protect sexual abuse offenders include consent and insanity. It should be proved that the victim gave consent for the actions. However, it should also be noted that marriage doesn’t grant consent. A married individual also has a right to say no to sexual activity and would be treated sexually assaulted by the spouse if forced.
Another defense that can help criminals sexual abuse defenders is insanity. It should be proved in court that the defender is mentally incapable of making sound decisions and is mentally incapable of understanding the repercussions of their actions. However, this defense is usually hard to prove.
Statute Of Limitation For Sexual Abuse Lawsuits
There is a fixed period within which a sexual abuse victim has the right to take action against the perpetrator and file a lawsuit. This statute of limitation varies from state to state.
Most of the states have also barred any state of limitation from sexual abuse cases. However, in most states and countries, this statute of limitation is kept at three years i.e., the victim can file a sexual abuse case within three years of its occurrence.
Are There Any Claims Received In Sexual Assault Cases?
As asexual assault is a criminal case, the burden of proof lies on the government. However, a victim can also file the case in a civil court and demand compensation for the same.
This compensation amount can be claimed for lost wages, physiological trauma, medical expenses, counseling expenses, and other monetary and non-monetary damages, as applicable.
A sexual assault victim can also sue a third party. This can be in cases where the victim is sexually assaulted at the workplace. For example, the victim has the right to sue the employer for employing a person without a proper background check.
You can also sue the residential building owner for improper lighting and lack of security measures put in place. To learn more about sexual abuse lawsuits, contact us today.