Crime victims deserve justice, and particularly victims of molestation. According to a National Center for Victims of Crime article, child sexual abuse victims can suffer significant distress and a wide range of long and short-term psychological symptoms. Fortunately, victims of molestation can seek justice through civil litigation.
Effects of Molestation
Molestation is the crime of committing sexual acts with children up to the age of 18. Victims may suffer depression, disconnection, trust issues, anger problems, and personality changes, or become involved in criminal activities or unusual sexual behavior. Children who have been molested may:
- Become withdrawn
- Have nightmares
- Experience mood swings
- Refuse to eat
- Compulsively harm themselves
- Become secretive
- Regress to earlier behavior
- Attempt suicide
Molestation Victims Seek Justice in California
If you or someone you love has been the victim of molestation, speak with an experienced molestation attorney as soon as you can. You or your loved one may be entitled to file a claim for compensation for the injuries suffered. Damages may include medical expenses (past and future), lost wages, lost future earnings, physical impairment, mental impairment, and pain and suffering.
No amount of money can ever compensate you for the devastation caused by molestation. Filing a civil lawsuit enables you to seek justice against the assailant by recovering compensation, and damages can help cover your medical expenses and replace earnings you have lost as a result of the criminal acts inflicted upon you.
A lawsuit for molestation can be brought not only against the assailant, but also against parties who knew or should have known about the molestation and failed to take reasonable action to prevent it. Examples of potentially responsible parties include hospitals, mental health facilities, churches, schools, and summer camps.
Time Limit for Filing a Civil Lawsuit for Molestation in California
The statute of limitations for victims of molestation in California is within 8 years of the victim’s majority, or before the victim’s 26th birthday. However, California, along with 27 other states, has adopted delayed discovery extensions in cases of child sexual abuse. This new rule allows a civil lawsuit to be filed within 3 years of the date the victim discovers (or reasonably should have discovered) that he or she has suffered psychological injury or illness after the age of majority resulting from sexual abuse.
The purpose of the delayed discovery extension is to counter the problem of molestation victims repressing memories of the abuse for decades, when the statute of limitations has already expired. Victims now have 3 years to file a claim after the abuse is discovered, which often when a person is in therapy.
Under SB 131, a bill proposed by state senator Jim Beall, the statute of limitations would be extended or eliminated for victims of molestation. However, that bill was vetoed by Governor Jerry Brown.
Los Angeles Molestation Attorney
At the Law Offices of Omar Gastelum & Associates, PLC, we represent victims of molestation in the Los Angeles area. Our molestation attorneys are skilled legal professionals who will work with dedication and determination to help you seek justice and compensation for your injuries. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.