Sexual Assault Lawyer & Abuse Attorney
Serving Molestation Victims in Springfield and the Surrounding Communities
Every 73 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted, many of whom are women and children. Fortunately, criminal prosecution is not the only remedy for the victims of these heinous crimes. In addition to criminal prosecution, victims have rights to sue perpetrators and organizations such as the church, or the Boy Scouts, or their employer for monetary damages in civil court.
We represent the victims of sexual assault, abuse, and molestation against perpetrators as well as school districts, religious organizations, other organizations, preschool and day care owners, bars, nursing homes, store and mall owners, and companies that are also legally responsible for such acts.
The facts of the case are sad but notable. Our client, Jane Doe, was repeatedly sexually abused as a child by her stepfather. As an adult, she found the courage to come forward and file a civil suit against her abuser. Although the civil process was difficult, she found it to be empowering. In this case, it was her way of taking control of the situation and giving a voice to a 9 year old child who was left unprotected.
While the perpetrator may not have the assets to pay a financial judgement (especially if they are convicted and sent prison), these organizations often do have significant assets. Moreover, larger organizations often carry insurance policies with significant monetary limits that may be triggered in a civil lawsuit.
For these reasons, we urge victims to contact us as soon as possible so that we can help them in seeking compensation and justice.
As sexual assault lawyers and abuse attorneys, we demand justice and full compensation from those perpetrating sexual assault and abuse, as well as those who have legal liability for allowing assault and abuse to occur.
We represent the victims of all types of sexual assault and violence, including rape, sexual violence, child molestation, unwanted touching, sexual assault, sexual abuse, stalking, and sex trafficking.
We Offer a Free Consultation. There is Only a Fee if Compensation is Recovered, and We Advance All Litigation Costs.
Regardless of whether you are an adult, child, woman, or man, if you (or a loved one) suffered sexual assault or abuse, we are here to help with healing, hope, and practical solutions, as well as securing the resources needed for long-term physical, emotional, and psychological care.
Call today to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our Springfield sexual assault and abuse lawyers. We can listen to the facts and circumstances of your case, explain your legal options, and assist in seeking to hold accountable your attacker and other responsible parties.
How Long Do I Have to Bring a Sexual Assault Case?
There are time limits known as the “statute of limitations” which govern the time period in which a case must be brought. The statute of limitations for a sexual assault case in civil court sometimes depends upon certain facts, such as the age of the victim at the time the assault occurred.
We can explain the statute of limitations that will apply to your case once we know the facts and circumstances concerning the assault. We urge you to contact us as soon as possible so that a lawsuit can be brought before the statute of limitations expires, if possible.
What Is Sexual Assault?
Sexual assault is broadly defined as any unwanted type of sexual activity to which an individual does not consent. Sexual assault can include (but is not limited to):
- Inappropriate touching under or over clothing
- Rape (including vaginal, anal, or oral penetration)
- Attempted rape
- Sexual contact at the time someone is incapacitated from drugs or alcohol
- Statutory rape (sexual activity with a minor)
In Massachusetts, some non-physical behaviors also may fall under sexual assault or harassment, including:
- Voyeurism (watching private sexual acts)
- Exhibitionism (exposing oneself in public)
Sexual assault can be subtle in many instances; thus victims frequently are reluctant to report occurrences, fearing that someone may believe they are blowing a situation out of proportion. It’s important to understand that sexual predators tend to be repeat offenders; thus failing to report an assault could lead to other individuals being victimized.
Where Do Sexual Assaults Frequently Occur?
Children, the elderly, and individuals with physical or mental impairments are particularly vulnerable to sexual assault. Over half of sexual abuse incidents occur at or near a victim’s home; however, assaults are also prevalent at:
- Daycare facilities
- Assisted living facilities and nursing homes
- Organizations that serve children and adolescents, including those centered around sports, recreation, or other activities
- Schools, colleges, and universities
- Parking lots and garages
- Bars and nightclubs
Depending on the circumstances surrounding a sexual attack, an organization, property owner, or business operator could be liable for any injuries sustained. When a person is sexually assaulted by a predator while the predator is working, there is a legal theory that often holds employers responsible for the wrongful acts of their employees. Similarly, property owners have a legal duty to make their property safe, such as by maintaining adequate parking lot lighting and security. If a person is sexually assaulted at work, they might be able to sue the employer for failing to perform a background check or to have adequate protections in place.
As experienced Massachusetts sexual assault attorneys, we can conduct a thorough investigation of your case and assist in identifying all parties who may be legally and financially liable. We represent victims in cases of isolated assaults, as well as those who may have been assaulted as part of widespread sexual abuse (such as the assaults that have occurred in churches). In the cases of widespread sexual abuse, we help victims understand their options for pursuing compensation either by bringing an individual lawsuit or through joining a class action lawsuit.
What is Consent?
To consent to a sexual act, an individual must willingly agree to do something. It must be informed and voluntary, meaning that there is never consent where force (either express or implied), coercion, intimidation, or threats are used. Even if consent is given, it can be withdrawn at any time.
Consent can be conveyed either verbally or through actions that clearly create a mutual understanding of permission. It is important to note that silence or failure to resist does not constitute authorization, as consent cannot be implied. Further, a history of sexual activity with a person does not constitute ongoing or future consent.
In certain instances, parties cannot give consent. Specifically, children, individuals with mental impairments, and those who are incapacitated because of drugs or alcohol do not have the capacity to agree to sexual acts.
What Should I Do After a Sexual Assault?
After an assault, if possible, it is important to contact the local police department where the attack occurred. Authorities can investigate an incident and initiate charges. In Massachusetts, by reporting an assault, a victim is not required to proceed with a criminal case; instead, they may be able to wait until a later date (the statute of limitations for rape is fifteen years in Massachusetts).
It is also vital to seek immediate medical attention to ensure that any evidence is collected. In many instances, a person may not feel comfortable reporting an incident to the police; however, within five days of an incident, it is still crucial to go to a medical facility and request that a sexual assault evidence kit be performed (even if a victim has already showered). A kit can be documented as “anonymous” and held for six months. This means that evidence will be preserved if he or she later decides to pursue charges.
Who Can I Talk to About My Sexual Assault?
Many victims do not report sexual assault or abuse out of embarrassment, fear, or guilt. If you were victimized, it is imperative to understand that the situation is not your fault. If you need someone to talk to, the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800-656-HOPE) has trained staff standing by to provide confidential support.
If you would like to confidentially discuss your case with one of our sexual assault attorneys, please call our office to schedule a free consultation.
What Types of Compensation and Money Damages are Available for a Sexual Assault Victim in Massachusetts?
As with other injuries, a sexual assault victim will be entitled to all reasonable and foreseeable damages arising from the assault from all those who have legal responsibility. As an example, victims may be entitled to compensation for:
- Pain and suffering, which includes resulting psychological and physical conditions, such as new fears and the inability to sleep, in addition to the pain, fear, suffering, and other trauma sustained at the time of the assault and shortly thereafter
- Counseling and other psychological treatment
- Lost wages
- Loss of consortium (interference with a relationship with a loved one)
We have helped victims recover millions of dollars in compensation for their injuries. If you were sexually assaulted, our experienced Springfield sexual assault attorneys can provide compassionate support, explain your options, and assist in seeking to hold all responsible parties accountable.
Call Our Office to Schedule a Complimentary Consultation with One of Our Compassionate Springfield Sexual Assault Lawyers.
At Alekman DiTusa, we know that the physical and emotional trauma caused by a sexual assault can never be undone. However, if you were assaulted, you deserve justice and full and fair compensation from all those responsible.
We invite you to call our office to schedule a free consultation, and to learn about your options and how we will fight tenaciously for you.
How Can We Help?
Please call us at 413.781.0000 or fill out this form.