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Sexual Assault Victims Attorney for Sex Crimes

Phoenix Sex Crimes Victim Attorney

Children are among the most common victims of sexual abuse, but it is possible for any age group to be a child abuse victim. According to the National Institutes of Justice; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; U.S. Department of Justice: U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, 15% of all sexual assault and rape victims are under the age of 12 years old, 44% are under the age of 18 years old and 93% of juvenile assault victims are familiar with their attackers. Sexual abuse and sexual assault have lasting consequences for the victim as well as the victim’s family. A sexual abuse attorney can help the victim receive representation when navigating the criminal justice system in an attempt to hold the abuser accountable.

Victims of sexual assault, or rape victims, are significantly more likely to deal with depression and substance abuse issues. They are also four times more likely to think about committing suicide. Sexual abuse cases may be filed against individuals, hospitals, religious organizations, schools and companies. The goal of any sexual abuse case is to launch a thorough investigation into the facts and pursue any financial damages to which the victim is entitled. Even if one person was responsible for the abuse, an organization may still be held liable for not having proper precautions in place to protect the victim.

If you have been a victim of rape or sexual assault, contact our Sex Crimes Attorney today.
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Criminal Sexual Abuse

Criminal sexual abuse is managed differently in the legal system depending on whether the victim is a child or an adult. Sexual abuse against minors is frequently called molestation while rape or sexual assault are the terms used to describe sexual abuse of an adult. Child sexual abuse involves any lewd or lascivious act perpetrated upon a minor. Punishment for such crimes includes imprisonment, registration on the sex offender registration list, loss of voting rights and mandatory aids testing.

Rape is defined as any act of intercourse that goes against the will of the victim. Rape may be accomplished through violence, force, menace or fear of injury. Statutory rape occurs if someone is raped under the age set by state law, which is typically the age of 16. Aggravated sexual abuse refers to sexual abuse that involves the use of a weapon, a victim over age 60, a physically handicapped victim, statutory rape of a family member, drugs, or threatening behavior.

Filing a Civil Lawsuit for Sexual Assault

Sexual assault and abuse victims may file a lawsuit against the perpetrator. Victims of sexual abuse often successfully file against the perpetrator in court, even if criminal proceedings are already underway. Criminal proceedings generally do not provide any monetary award for the victim, while a civil lawsuit can ensure that the victim receives financial compensation as well.

Types of Claims and Damages

The amount a victim can claim in a sexual abuse lawsuit varies from one case to another. The legal theory involved in the lawsuit is often known as “cause of action” and also has a significant effect on the reward amount. There is no cause of action for sexual assault, which means that the perpetrator must be held liable for Assault and Battery, Emotional Distress, Intentional Infliction, or another legal theory.

All legal theories stem from the physical and emotional harm the victim suffered as a result of the defendant’s actions. Juries often award a high amount of damages due to the severe nature of these crimes. Nonetheless, it is often difficult to collect if the defendant is not wealthy. Most insurance policies do not cover intentional acts, which makes it difficult for the victim to receive the payments he or she was awarded. The victim may still receive the perpetrator’s personal assets, but they do not commonly amount to the total award figure.

Victims of a Sex Crime are entitled to Compensation
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Additional Liable Parties

If a third party was responsible for preventing the abuse that occurred, the victim may be able to sue that organization for damages. For example, a sexual abuse victim at a school may be able to sue the educational institution on the grounds that they should have implemented proper policies to protect students from abuse.

Proving a Case of Sex Abuse

When it comes to suing an individual or entity for sexual assault, it is often difficult for the plaintiff to prove that the abuse occurred. If the defendant was convicted in a criminal case, it is usually much easier to hold him or her accountable in civil court. There is a legal rule called “collateral estoppel,” which may entitle the plaintiff to introduce evidence from a criminal case in which the defendant was found guilty to a civil trial.

If there was no criminal case or if the defendant was not found guilty, the victim may still be able to receive damages. The standard of proof for a civil case is much lower than it is for a criminal case, which has imprisonment as a possible punishment. In order to find a defendant civilly liable, you are only required to show that it is more likely than not that the defendant perpetrated the abuse. The basis for this standard is “by a preponderance of the evidence.” Criminal court requires much stronger proof by the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard.

A rape victim attorney may be able to help you receive financial compensation for the trauma you sustained. Even if the perpetrator of the abuse was not found guilty in criminal court, you may still be eligible for damages. An attorney can help you make a strong case for the perpetrator’s guilt and show that it has had a measurable impact on your life. Regardless of age or circumstance, all victims of sexual assault deserve proper representation.

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