What Is The Difference Between A Civil And Criminal Sex Abuse Case?
Criminal sexual abuse is prosecuted by the Government, while an attorney helps a childhood abuse survivor seek justice via a lawsuit against the persons and organizations responsible. Child and adult sexual abuse can happen at any time, yet based on varying laws, it may not always be able to be brought before a criminal or civil court. A concept known as the “statute of limitations” mandates a time period during which a criminal and/or civil case must start otherwise it will be forever barred. For civil lawsuits related to sexual abuse in Pennsylvania, a person has until the day before their 30th birthday to raise a claim. For children who were only physically abused, they have until the day before their 20th birthday to file a claim in Pennsylvania. Currently, New Jersey is one of the few states where the state government has created a lookback window. The lookback window in New Jersey, has for a 2-year time period removed the statute of limitations requirement, for any person who suffered sexual abuse. The statute of limitations only harms the children abused and rewards the abusers for choosing society’s most vulnerable persons.
Civil lawsuits especially those regarding juvenile placement facilities allow survivors to hold the abuser and the facility liable. Oftentimes in criminal investigations, it is very difficult to hold a facility liable, despite their conduct. This often allows an atmosphere for rampant abuse to occur. Our firm goes after many of these facilities with the idea of getting the organization to compensate our clients who survived horrific abuse while also forcing them to make wholesale changes. In this manner someone who suffered childhood abuse at a facility can be compensated while knowing other kids will not have to endure this same maltreatment.
Usually, it is best to have a criminal investigation or trial conclude or be close to conclusion before filing a civil lawsuit, but it is not mandatory. When a facility or one of its employees gets criminally convicted, the task of proving civil liability via a lawsuit becomes more streamlined. The civil rules of evidence often have caveats whereby a criminal conviction becomes automatically admissible evidence which can be used towards proving guilt.
Must Criminal Charges Have to Be Pressed Prior to Someone Filing A Civil Sex Abuse Case?
No, charges do not need to be pressed prior to someone filing a civil sexual abuse case. People are not inclined to eagerly discuss the worst days of their life. Oftentimes, it may take years before a person can talk about being sexually or physically abused, especially if this happened during childhood. However, almost all states have civil lawsuit statutes of limitations for child sexual abuse. Thus, filing a claim within the time period essential to preserve all of a survivor’s rights. Ideally, civil sexual abuse claims should be filed as soon as possible, to ensure compliance with the statute of limitations. Our firm continues to strongly advocate in every state to create a civil lawsuit lookback window or completely abolish the statute of limitations for sexual abuse. The statute of limitations, especially for child abuse, only serves to reward the abusers who select as victims, the most vulnerable members of our society.
Are A Lot of People Surprised They Can File A Civil Suit For A Sex Crime Case?
Juvenile placement facilities are detention centers located in every state in America. For many of the victims sent to these facilities, this was their first experience with prison. These juvenile detention facilities, to them, represented the government, even though it was not. These children did not believe anyone would file a civil suit for the rampant crimes they suffered or witnessed because to them it is akin to fighting the government or suing a police department.
According to former student accounts, oftentimes following an abuse incident, the juvenile placement facility would pay to make the problem go away. If one of the students was molested or assaulted, the facilities often did not report it to law enforcement and instead paid secret settlements, agreed to put the offender in a different unit within the organization, and/or lied to authorities claiming the child committed a separate criminal offense. Many juvenile placement facilities required a child’s family to pay, at least partially, for their time residing there, and as a method to pay off family members when an abuse claim was raised, facilities would grant tuition waivers.
Even though a child was sent to a juvenile placement, the reform school could choose who they wanted to accept. Many parents had to pay something for their children to attend. Even adult jail is not free. Prisoners, including life prisoners, often receive a bill from the state and they are required to make considerable payments to the state for their incarceration.
People are relieved when they learn what our law firm is doing to hold these facilities responsible for allowing rampant child abuse. Very few other lawyers do what we do. At Cornerstone Legal Group, fighting childhood abuse is not a motto, it is our passion. We do this across the country, as every state has these types of juvenile placement and reform schools, and no child deserves to grow up experiencing pain and abuse.
Society greatly underestimated the number of people affected by this criminal activity against children in juvenile placement and reform schools. The hardest issue for our firm is not advertising, it is making sure we speak with everyone who contacts us about their abuse, to ensure we can vigorously fight for their rights. So many individuals call us every day to get help for themselves or for a family member who suffered physical or sexual abuse as a child. If you or someone you know suffered child abuse, contact us, we will not stop fighting for their rights.
For more information on Civil Vs. Criminal Sex Abuse Case In PA, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (888) 313-1385 today.
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