NYC Sexual Abuse Defense Attorney
Sexual Abuse Defense Attorney In New York City
Believe it or not, 1.8 million adolescents in the United States are victims of sexual assault, according to the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW). Furthermore, 20 out of 112 million women have been raped at some point in their lifetime, and 28% of male rape victims were first abused when they were 10 years old or younger. Sadly, only 16 percent of all rapes are reported to law enforcement. These statistics should be jarring for everyone who hears them, however, now more than ever, sexual abuse allegations are unwarranted. If you’ve been accused of sexual abuse in New York, the numbers are not in your favor. That’s why it’s critical that you have an experienced NYC sexual abuse defense attorney in your corner to defend your rights and help you secure the best possible outcome in your case.
What is Sexual Abuse?
Sexual abuse is, unfortunately, more common than most people think. Even in a year where New York City saw lowered crime rates across the board, rapes increased significantly in 2019. Additionally, rape cases have increased by 19% in 2019 compared to 2018. In New York State, most sex crimes are felonies. However, sexual advances don’t always have to be physically violent to be considered abusive. The line can easily be blurred in these scenarios, and it’s common for someone to be accused of sexual abuse that is not legally considered sexual abuse. Sexual abuse is defined as one or more of the following:
- Unwanted sexual advances including touching, kissing, or fondling
- Rape and date rape
- Sexual harassment or exploitation
- Forcible touching
- Taking photos or video of a victim without their knowledge or consent
- Exposing a victim to unwanted pornography
In New York State, any sexual crimes committed against children are always considered serious offenses. This is because minors cannot give consent to any type of sexual behavior under the law.
Common Groups Accused Of Sexual Abuse
Many sexual abuse lawsuits as a result of childhood experiences are against people and organizations that have the money to pay for damages awarded by a court. The defendants listed below are very commonly associated with sexual abuse allegations, whether true or not.
To date, thousands of cases have been filed against members of the Catholic church. The church claims that as much as 1% of its priest population are abusers – which equates to hundreds of thousands of wrongdoers and millions of abused children. Consequently, the Catholic Church has paid out an estimated three billion dollars in settlements for the abusive acts committed by its clergy and priests in Churches and dioceses across the globe.
Child abuse claims typically target teachers as individuals and employees of the school district where they were working when the supposed abuse took place. In these situations, the law often obliges the school district to provide legal representation for them under the respondent superior doctrine.
As the world watches in shock as Larry Nassar’s horrors are revealed at Michigan State University, we must remember that this is not an isolated incident. Hundreds of coaches across the country have been found to have abused children, and hundreds of lawsuits have been brought against them. This is a violation of the sacred trust between coach and athlete, and it must be stopped.
The USC doctor’s conviction for sexually abusing hundreds of minors has initiated a comprehensive review of how medical professionals treat young patients. It’s no secret that doctors have an immense amount of power over patients, making it easy for abuse to occur— unfortunately, it happens more often than one might think.
All too often, the very people we trust to protect our most vulnerable members of society turn out to be the real danger. Most cases are brought against foster care agencies based on their failure to screen the parents or supervise the children under their care.
Child abuse cases have put many large youth organizations under intense public scrutiny, with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) paying out tens of millions in settlements as a result. To date, BSA has had to pay $15 million and $18.5 million in settlements respectively, with more likely on the horizon.
Other Care Facilities
Sadly, the facilities we entrust our youngest children and elderly parents to for care are not immune from abusive conduct. Reports of abuse of children at daycare centers and seniors in nursing homes are becoming all too common. When an incident does occur, the facility can generally be held accountable in court.
Types Of Sexual Assault In New York
Unfortunately, sexual assault is a form of sexual violence that affects thousands of men, women, and children annually. In New York Law, sexual assault generally refers to any type of sexual contact or behavior that happens without the victim’s permission. For instance, this includes if a victim is physically unable to consent because they’re intoxicated, unconscious or have some sort of physical disability. Sexual assault can include:
- Rape and attempted rape
- Forced sexual acts of any nature
- Grouping and unwanted touching,
- Any unwanted penetration of the victim
- Sexual abuse
- Sexual exploitation
Red Flags of Potential Sexual Abuse
Below are some of the red flags that are commonly used to identify and press sexual abuse charges in New York City:
- A loss of appetite
- Sudden depression or anxiety
- Social isolation
- Substance abuse
- Self-harm (or thoughts of performing self-harm)
- Diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
It is also not uncommon for victims to suffer from age regression. This is when someone reverts back to social and emotional behaviors that were present right around the time the incident occurred. If you know someone who is exhibiting only one of the red flags mentioned above, it may not mean that they were sexually abused. However, if they are exhibiting more than one, then professional help may be necessary in order to uncover any true causes of changes in their personality.
The Burden Of Proof In Sexual Abuse Cases
The bar is set much higher for criminal cases of sexual abuse than it is for civil cases. In a criminal case, the plaintiff must prove that the abuse occurred beyond a reasonable doubt. However, in civil cases, they need only show that there is greater than a 50% chance that the claim is true; this standard is called “preponderance of evidence.” To increase their chances of meeting this burden, victims must present:
- Medical records
- Witness statements
- Police reports
- Text messages
- Photos and video footage
- DNA evidence
There are many nuances to these types of sex crime cases, and that’s why if you’re facing similar charges you must contact a qualified New York City sexual abuse defense attorney as soon as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Sue My Attacker After a Sexual Assault in NYC?
Yes, sexual assault can be classified as a civil tort claim. If you were injured in any way because of someone else’s actions (negligent or not), then you may have legitimate grounds to file a civil suit. For example, if somebody attacked you physically and/or sexually, that could count as an injury which would give you the right to sue your attacker for damages like pain and suffering or emotional distress– even if there weren’t any physical injuries sustained.
What Is The New York Child Victims Act?
Thankfully, the New York Child Victims Act will give more time to file a suit against perpetrators of sexual abuse. The New York State Legislature passed the Child Victims Act in late January 2019 and it will go into effect on August 14th, 2019. This bill eliminates the statute of limitations for prosecuting child sexual abuse crimes and filing civil lawsuits for damages against individuals, public institutions (like schools), and private institutions related to child sexual abuse. Here is what you need to know about this new law:
- Until recently, the age limit for survivors of sexual abuse to file civil lawsuits against their abusers or institutions was 23 years old. This has changed, and now those same survivors will have until they are 55 years old to come forward.
- Sexual abuse survivors have one year from the date of the last occurrence to come forward and file charges against the perpetrator.
- Individuals whose cases were thrown out in the past because the amount of time that had passed since the event was too long can file a new lawsuit.
- Failed cases for individuals who did not file a notice of claim or notice of intention to file against a municipality can be brought back as new lawsuits.
- Individuals who were abused by institutions will now be able to sue the organization without having to first submit a notice of claim or intention.
- Until they turn 28, survivors of childhood sexual abuse will be able to file felony charges against their abuser.
- Misdemeanor charges can be brought against an offender until the victim’s 25th birthday.
- Law enforcement will now have more time to file charges against abusers
Contact Our New York City Sexual Abuse Defense Attorney Today
If you’re facing sexual abuse charges in New York City, it can be one of the most stressful times in your life. We understand the urgency revolving around these cases and will fight to make sure you receive the best possible outcome. Contact our New York City sexual abuse defense attorney today for a free consultation and to learn more about how we can help.