Lawyers For Sexual Assault & Child Molestation Victims

Sexual assault has, unfortunately, always been a problem in our country. Countless women, children, and men have been subjected to sexual contact without their consent. The physical and emotional pain that stems from this type of attack can be devastating. If you or someone you love has been sexually assaulted or molested, contact a lawyer for sexual assault and child molestation victims today.

The team at Farmer, Jaffe, Weissing, Edwards, Fistos & Lehrman, P.L. is ready to fight for your rights today: 954-524-2820.

What is sexual assault?

Sexual assault is any sexual contact that occurs without the victim’s consent. Common examples include:

  • Rape
  • Attempted rape
  • Inappropriate groping or touching
  • Sexual intercourse
  • Exhibitionism
  • Sexual contact with a child
  • Sexual harassment

Consent requires that a person is aware of what is happening and is willing to engage in those activities. Not everyone can consent to sexual activity. The following people are unable to legally consent to sexual activity:

  • Minors
  • Mentally disabled individuals
  • Those who consented under the threat of harm
  • People who are unconscious
  • People who are drunk or have been drugged

In many cases, people suffer assaults or molestation at the hands of those they love and trust. Children are particularly vulnerable and may be victims of molestation by older relatives or close family friends.

Adult victims may be victims of sexual assault by a friend, dating partner, or even a spouse. Statistics from the U.S. Department of Justice show that a majority of sexual assault victims knew their attacker. However, an attacker can also be a stranger. Sexual abuse can occur at any time and anyone can be a victim.

How can I seek justice after a sexual assault or molestation?

When a sexual assault occurs, the state may file criminal charges against the perpetrator. If a jury finds him/her guilty, your attacker may be spending some time behind bars.

However, if you so choose, a predator can face more than criminal charges. Victims of sexual assaults (and/or their loved ones if the victim is a child) may also file a civil suit against their attacker to recover damages.

Who can sue for damages in a sex assault or molestation case?

Child Abuse Victims and Their Guardians

Both children and their caregivers can file separate suits against the abuser for the physical and emotional injuries the child suffered as a result of the abuse.

The suit may include multiple causes of action including assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and battery.

Note: In most cases, a parent will file a suit for the child, in addition to his/her separate suit.

Adult Sexual Assault Victims

Victims of sexual assault can file suit against their attackers for the physical and emotional harm they suffered.

Who can I sue following a sexual assault or child molestation?

The first person in your suit will likely be the perpetrator, but you might be able to name other parties as well. For example, you might name a property owner or employer if negligent security, failure to maintain property, negligent hiring, or negligent supervision allowed the attack or abuse to occur.

Some of these potential defendants include:

  • Schools or daycares
  • Businesses
  • Landlords
  • Religious institutions
  • The abuser’s employer

Proving a Sexual Assault or Child Molestation Case

Proving sexual assault can be challenging, but we will handle all aspects of your case from the get-go. If successful, you can recover a large amount of damages due to the horrific nature of these cases. In addition to monetary damages, you can have peace of mind knowing that you are holding your attacker or your child’s attacker accountable for his/her actions. We will investigate the facts of your case and come up with enough evidence to help you win your case.

To prove your case, we will need to show:

  • Sexual contact or behavior
  • Knowing behavior or intent on the part of the defendant
  • Victim’s lack of consent or inability to give consent

In criminal court, you need to prove that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, which is the highest standard of proof.

Proving guilt in civil court is often much easier. To hold a defendant liable in civil court, the plaintiff must prove the defendant was guilty by a preponderance of the evidence. Essentially, this means that we must show that it is more likely than not that the perpetrator committed the crime.

To prove your case, we will present medical records, expert testimony, and witnesses. If necessary, we will enlist the help of experts to show the significant impact of the assault on your life. Many victims of sexual assault suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and other psychological trauma.

Your physician can testify to your physical injuries while a mental health professional can evaluate your ability to function in daily life. We may also call friends and family to testify to compare your behavior before and after the attack.

Collateral Estoppel

If a criminal court convicted the defendant, it may be easier to prove your case in a civil court. The legal rule of collateral estoppel may allow you to bring the criminal evidence used to convict the defendant in criminal court into civil court.

Recovering Damages Related to a Sexual Assault or Child Molestation Case

If a civil court finds a perpetrator liable in civil court, the sexual assault victim may be entitled to compensatory damages.

If you or your child has been sexually assaulted, you do not have to suffer alone. Farmer, Jaffe, Weissing, Edwards, Fistos & Lehrman, P.L. pursues justice for sexual assault victims and their families. The attorneys on staff will do everything they can to make sure you recover the compensation you deserve. For more information, please call 954-524-2820 to schedule a free consultation today.