Child Sexual Abuse in California
Let Frantz Law Group Protect Your Rights
Sexual abuse of a child is a horrendous crime that results in everlasting and negative mental and emotional scars. In most cases, these crimes are committed by people children trust, causing a young person to be reluctant to speak out about the incident(s) until years or decades later. For many survivors of child sex abuse, it takes a substantial amount of time to work through the complex mix of confusion, embarrassment, shame, anger, and depression caused by the abuse.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of childhood sexual abuse, you may be eligible to file a civil lawsuit against the person who committed the abuse, as well as against other people or institutions responsible for allowing such abuse to occur and continue. At Frantz Law Group, our California sexual abuse lawyers can evaluate your case, determine all of your available legal options, and help you obtain the compensation and justice you deserve. Let us help you bring closure and make the abusers pay for their crimes.
Filing a Civil Lawsuit for Child Sexual Abuse
A child sexual abuse victim can sue the alleged abuser and anyone else who was in a position to prevent the abuse or had legal obligation to do so. That includes parents, relatives, a school district or its employees, an employer, a daycare provider, a church or religious organization, coaches, and scout/troop leaders.
The victim only needs to establish the abuser’s liability “by a preponderance of the evidence,” meaning that it is “more likely than not” that the defendant committed the alleged abuse. This standard of proof is lower than it is in a criminal case, where the prosecution must prove the defendant’s guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Our firm handles the following types of child sexual abuse cases in California:
- Sexual abuse in school
- Sexual abuse in sports
- Boy scout sexual abuse
- Clergy sexual abuse
In California, the filing of a civil claim of sexual abuse must be made within eight years of the age of the majority (i.e. before the victim’s 26th birthday). However, California is one of 28 states that have adopted an extension of the statute of limitations based on the “discovery” of child sexual abuse or its effects.
This discovery rule allows for civil lawsuits when they are “within three years of the date the plaintiff discovers or reasonably should have discovered that psychological injury or illness occurring after the age of majority caused by the sexual abuse.” Simply put, when a person discovers memories of abuse (often through therapy), he/she has three years to file a claim.
Ready to Help You Obtain the Justice You Deserve
Our California personal injury attorneys understand that by filing a lawsuit in civil court, you or your loved one is volunteering to revisit painful memories, giving up some measure of privacy, and opening up to scrutiny. At Franz Law Group, not only can help you move forward with your life, but we can ensure that this type of behavior from the person or organization comes to a permanent end for all victims and make the public safer.
For more information, contact us and schedule a free consultation today.
As a parent of a child who was sexually abused, you may find the following publications from the Children’s Bureau of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services helpful: