New York Child Victims Act Lawyers
Starting February 19, 2019 victims of sexual abuse will have new rights to bring lawsuits. There are no words to describe the physical and mental torment sexual abuse survivors must endure following a crime against them. This is especially true for innocent children who are unable to defend themselves or even communicate the abuse they are suffering from.
The New York sexual abuse attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP are wholly dedicated to protecting the rights of sexual abuse victims and bringing those who have committed these atrocious acts to justice.
It is worth noting that child sexual abuse is not restricted to physical contact. Children may suffer from sexual victimization if they have dealt with noncontact abuse such as exposure, voyeurism, and child pornography.
Tragically, the true prevalence of childhood sexual abuse is difficult to determine because it is often not reported. Experts generally agree, however, that the rate of incidence is far greater than what is reported to authorities.
At Hach & Rose, LLP, we believe it is our duty to protect those who cannot protect themselves. If you or a loved one has suffered from any form of sexual abuse, do not hesitate to contact the New York sexual abuse lawyers at Hach & Rose, LLP today at (212) 779-0057 or online. Our compassionate, caring, and experienced attorneys will work diligently to uncover whether criminal charges, a civil lawsuit – or both – can be filed against the perpetrator or negligent third party who is responsible for the abuse and its damages to you.
Hach & Rose, LLP is there for you during this difficult time.
About New York’s Child Victims Act
The New York State Legislature passed the Child Victims Act in late January 2019.
This bill eliminates the statute of limitation for prosecuting child sexual abuse crimes and filing civil lawsuits for damages against individuals, public institutions, and private institutions related to child sexual abuse.
Under the new law:
- Survivors who suffered sexual abuse as children will be able to file civil lawsuits against abusers and institutions until they are 55 years old. The previous limit of age stood at 23 years old.
- There is a one-year “lookback window” during which sexual abuse survivors of any age or time limit can come forward to seek out legal prosecution against the perpetrator.
- Victims whose cases were previously dismissed for statute of limitations reasons can bring a new lawsuit.
- Victims whose cases were previously dismissed for failing to file a notice of claim or notice of intention to file a claim against a municipality can bring a new lawsuit.
- Individuals who were abused at public institutions will now be able to file lawsuits against the organization without having to submit a notice of claim or notice of intention to file a claim.
- Survivors who suffered sexual abuse as children will be able to file felony criminal charges against the offender until they turn 28.
- Victims can seek misdemeanor charges against the offending party until their 25th birthday.
- Law enforcement will now have more time to file charges against abusers.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement, “I’m proud to say the time is now to pass this critical legislation to end this heinous injustice once and for all and [to] give these victims their day in court.”
This change of statutes of limitations for Child Sexual Abuse can prove to be the catalyst to bringing many offenders to justice. As per Child USA, the average age of a victim’s disclosure is 52, with the median age being 48. This disclosure delay often results in survivors missing statute of limitation deadlines for filing their claims.
Now, survivors who have kept quiet for decades will be able to come forth with their stories and obtain the justice and recovery they deserve.
Let the New York sexual abuse attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP shoulder the weight of your incident while you focus on healing. Contact our team today at (212) 779-0057 for your free and confidential case review.
Common Examples of Sexual Abuse and Assault
Sadly, minors are often taken advantage of by those they trust and who have some level of power over them. Perpetrators of abuse often include but are not limited to:
- Religious figurehead (i.e. priest/pastor)
- Foster parent(s)
- Law enforcement officer(s)
- Medical professional(s)
As previously mentioned, what constitutes sexual abuse depends on a number of factors, but generally falls under two broad categories:
- Unwanted Sexual Contact – These are situations in which the victim did not consent to the sexual act. The abuse does not have to involve penetration; exposure, voyeurism, and child pornography can suffice as a form of unwanted sexual abuse.
- Under the Age of Consent – In these situations, the victim may have consented but he/she is under the legal age of consent or was preyed upon by an adult in a trusted relationship (i.e. doctor, priest, employer, etc.).
While rape is the most commonly recognized form of sexual assault, there are other kinds that are recognized as well, including but limited to:
- Forced sexual acts
- Groping or unwanted touching
- Sexual exploitation
- Facilitating offense with a controlled substance
In the state of New York, the general age of consent is 17, as long as the individual is mentally competent to consent to a sexual relationship.
Any individual who engages in a sexual act with another individual under the age of consent is subject to criminal and civil charges, even if the sexual act was consensual.
In most cases, the younger the victim of sexual abuse, the more serious the charges against the offender.
Victims who are considering filing a claim under the newly authorized Child Victims Act should note that even if their victimizer was acquitted in a criminal court, they still have the ability to file a civil lawsuit. The standard of evidence in a civil lawsuit, which is known as the “preponderance of the evidence,” is often much easier to prove, and thus, the survivor has an increased likelihood of obtaining some form of recovery for their pain and suffering.
Who Can Be Held Responsible
Alongside the perpetrators who committed the actual crime, there are third parties that can be held liable for their failure to protect the victim or for their negligent behavior. These third parties can include but are not limited to:
- Institutions, organizations, and/or employers who are responsible for the actions of their employees including:
- Religious Institutions (i.e. Catholic church, Mormon church, etc.)
- Youth Organizations (i.e. Boy Scouts, YMCA, Big Brothers Big Sisters, etc.)
- Schools and/or Academies
- Property owners who failed to provide adequate security to inhibit criminal behavior.
- Adults who failed to supervise the other party/ies that committed the abuse or assault.
- Employers who hired or continued to employ a perpetrator of assault or sexual abuse.
- A professional mandated reporter who failed to report the suspected abuse.
- An agency or government entity that failed to respond to the suspected abuse.
- Any person or entity that aided or encouraged the criminal act.
Your New York City sexual abuse attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP have dedicated their careers to protecting the rights of innocent victims of crimes – especially when those victims are children. Our team is ready to fight tooth and nail for you.
Contact our team today at (212) 779-0057 for your free and confidential case review.
Criminal Penalties for Offenders
In New York, victims of sexual abuse are able to pursue both civil and criminal charges against those who harmed them.
If you decide to file criminal charges against the perpetrator of the offense against you, they may face severe punishment and jail time that includes:
- Sexual Abuse in the 1st Degree – Individuals guilty of this offense face penalties for a class D felony which can include 2 to 7 years in prison.
- Sexual Abuse in the 2nd Degree – If convicted, the perpetrator would face penalties of a class A misdemeanor which can include up to 1 year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
- Sexual Abuse in the 3rd Degree – A class B misdemeanor which is punishable by up to 3 months in jail.
- Aggravated Sexual Abuse in the 1st Degree – This is a class B felony and is punishable by 5 to 25 years in prison.
Alongside state charges, a perpetrator of a sexual assault or abuse crime can also face conviction of a federal offense. The penalties for being convicted of a sexual assault crime under federal law are much harsher than state penalties. For instance, individuals who forced someone to engage in a sexual act by threatening the individual with death or bodily harm may face a penalty of life in prison.
Your attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP will work day and night to ensure that justice is served swiftly to those who have caused you bodily, emotional, and psychological harm.
Compensation Survivors May Receive
Your New York sexual abuse lawyers at Hach & Rose, LLP recognize that no amount of monetary compensation can ever make up for the adversity and anguish you have had to endure as the victim of sexual abuse or a sexual assault crime. We only hope that our representation is able to provide you with some measure of closure and help you to begin the healing process.
Our experienced New York attorneys will fight for you or your loved one in order to recover compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Loss of income due to injury
- Stolen or damaged property
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
Compensation may also be available to victims from the New York State Office of Victim Services.
Our team will do a thorough analysis of all available resources and avenues for compensation so that you receive all recovery that is rightfully yours.
Sexual Abuse Statistics
Unfortunately, children and adolescents suffer from some of the highest rates of crime victimization in the United States, including sexual abuse.
- Only about 30% of sexual assault cases are reported to authorities.
- There were approximately 347,000 reported rapes or sexual assaults of persons 12 years or older in 2012.
- Approximately 1.8 million adolescents in the United States are victims of sexual assault.
- 69% of teen sexual assaults reported occurred in the residence of the victim, the offender, or another individual.
- An estimated 60% of perpetrators of sexual abuse are known to the child but not are a family member.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention links adverse childhood experiences (including sexual abuse) with a range of long-term health impacts including increased risks of:
- Intimate partner violence
- Alcoholism and alcohol abuse
- Illicit drug abuse
- Sexual and reproductive health issues:
- Sexually transmitted disease
- Unintended pregnancies
- Early initiation of sexual activity
According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center:
- 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18 years old.
- More than one-third of women who report being raped before age 18 also experience rape as an adult.
- 96% of people who sexually abuse children are male.
- Only 12% of child sexual abuse is ever reported to authorities.
What to Do If You or a Loved One Has Been Sexually Abused
If you or your child have been sexually abused, there are a number of steps to take to ensure that the offender is brought to justice:
- Contact the proper authorities immediately.
- Take the victim of the abuse to the hospital or to a physician to be examined for evidence of sexual contact or abuse. This step is extremely critical as it can be a source of valuable evidence should you choose to file a claim against the offending party.
- Help the survivor find support through a sexual abuse psychologist or counselor.
- Seek out support from the New York Office of Victim Services. This organization may be able to provide financial support to victims and their families.
- Do NOT hesitate to contact the experienced attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP.
Know that there is hope for you, even during the darkest hours. Our devoted attorneys are ready to hear your story and defend your rights. You are not alone and you are not to blame for what has happened.
Contact the committed, caring, and dedicated sexual abuse attorneys of Hach & Rose, LLP at (212) 779-0057, or reach out to us online for a free confidential case evaluation.
Update on the New York Child Victims Act: What Happens Next?
Most notably now that the bill has passed, survivors of child sexual abuse can:
- File a sexual assault charge until their 55th birthday, which is an increase from the previous age limit of 23.
- Seek felony charges up until their 28th birthday, which is an increase from the previous age limit of 23.
- File misdemeanor charges against their abuser up until their 25th birthday, increasing the statute of limitation by five years.
- Take advantage of a one-time “window of justice.” This allows survivor of any age, and regardless of how long ago the abuse took place, to file a lawsuit against their abuser.
It is important to note the distinction of the last bullet point. The “window of justice” is said to begin in August.
Justice awaits those who suffered through sexual assault as children. Let Hach & Rose, LLP deliver the legal care and protection you deserve.
Man Files $20M Lawsuit Against Catholic Church
A former New York City resident used the newly adopted Child’s Victim Act to re-file a $20 million lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn. Because the law greatly expanded the statute of limitations time period, the 55-year-old man was able to finally take action against those responsible for the abuse he suffered as a child.
The sexual abuse survivor, who now lives in Florida, had initially filed a claim against his abuser in 2011 but had his case dismissed because of statute of limitations concerns.
The first case against his abuser was filed after the offender had plead guilty to two counts of child rape and one count of distributing pornographic materials to an underage victim. The perpetrator of the crimes was a basketball coach at St. Theresa School in Queens who would eventually move to Christ the King.
As a young child, the sexual abuse survivor developed an inappropriate relationship with the coach, who utilized his influence and position of power to take advantage of the young boy. The lawsuit states that the victim had been molested well over 100 times over a four-year period.
The victim is also filing charges for battery, assault, negligence, and emotional anguish from the abusive church figure that caused him much pain and suffering throughout his adolescence and into his adulthood.