Sex Crimes Victims Rights Information Center
Violent sexual crimes and crimes against children are devastating to the victims. The harm done by these crimes can be physical or emotional or both. While we primarily defend individuals accused of sex crimes, our lawyers also represent victims of sex crimes in certain cases. If you or your child has been sexually assaulted, you are entitled to compensation -- i.e. money damages -- for the injuries, even if the person who assaulted you is not prosecuted by the police or the district attorney and even if you don't report the crime right away. In certain cases, you might be able to obtain damages from a third party like a landlord, a church or a school whose negligence directly caused the sexual assault. A victim cannot force the police to put someone in jail: some victims report the crime only to feel that the police are insensitive or do not believe them. But a victim can always bring a lawsuit to prove her case in court.
However, suits for sexual assault present special problems. You must prove that the assault actually took place, that the defendant was the person who committed the assault, and that you or your child was harmed by the incident. If there is no physical harm, you typically show emotional or psychological harm by pursuing treatment and counseling. Moreover, the court battle can be devastating. Sexual assault defendants sometimes try to smear their victims during court proceedings, doing their best to excuse their own behavior by probing the sexual past of their victims. A victim will have to tell her story in detail, under oath and be prepared to testify before a jury. A victim of sexual assault should choose her attorney very carefully to ensure that the lawyer has the skills needed to fully protect her interests in court. Please click the links for more information about the process of bringing a lawsuit for sexual assault and other illegal sexual behavior.