You May Recover Compensation For Abuse
Childhood sexual abuse causes devastating life changes.
Over 35 years we have advocated for survivors of sexual abuse and have represented scores of victims. No other lawyers have our record of awards and advocacy for survivors of sexual abuse.
In 1984, our lawyers tried to verdict the first child molestation jury trial for damages against a molester in Santa Clara County and in 2019 brought in a verdict for $28 million in the case of a child adopted from Russia who was abused as a sex slave for a decade
You will have lawyers who appreciate that sexual abuse, especially when untreated for years, will alter personality development and corrupt personal relationships for a lifetime. It can rob people of their childhood and replace happiness with grief and suffering for the survivor and his or her family that lasts forever.
SPECIAL TIME LIMIT FOR ALL VICTIMS TO SUE OPEN UNTIL DECEMBER 31, 2022
Under a new law, effective January 1, 2020, anyone under the age of 40 who was molested at any time in the past may file a lawsuit against the perpetrator for their injuries. The statute of limitations is open until December 31, 2022 and then it ends.
If you’re over the age of 40, this new law authorizes you to file a lawsuit, but first your attorneys are required to hire an independent psychologist to determine if there was childhood sexual abuse and a Certificate of Merit must be prepared for reviewed by a Judge of the Superior Court before the lawsuit can be served.
The previous time limit for a person to sue for childhood abuse was on or before their 26th birthday. As a result of the 2020 change in the law that deadline no longer applies.
This new statute revitalizes claims which would have been outlawed because they were not filed by the 26th birthday and provides a three-year window to take action.
Types of Injuries
Contact Us For Your FREE Consultation
If your child or a child you know has been a victim of molestation, sexual abuse or assault and you believe a third party failed to protect the child, contact Alexander Law Group, LLP immediately to discuss your rights and the legal care that we can provide. Call 888-777-1776 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.
Fact About Child Molestation You Need To Know
Children who report sexual abuse often have to tell several people before any action is taken. It is rare for a child to lie about abuse. If a child has reported sexual abuse to you, take it seriously.
- Parents and children most often know the child molester.
- Approximately 60% of molesters are known to the child but are not family members, such as family friends, neighbors, club leaders, camp counselors or teachers.
- Approximately 30% of molesters are family members, such as fathers, brothers, uncles or cousins.
- Approximately one out of every four girls and one out of every six boys are sexually abused in the U.S.
- Childhood sexual abuse is not a rare occurrence. It happens every day in families just like yours, in communities just like yours.
Molesters often exploit positions of authority by creating a sense of trust and friendship with the child. Many molesters will continue their abuse over time by demanding secrecy of what they often call a “special” or “loving” relationship.
Child abusers often do not use force, but instead “groom” the child by using manipulative tactics such as giving gifts, taking the child for special activities or exposing the child to pornography.
With rare exceptions, child molesters are men who have placed themselves in a position where they have been trusted to instruct, guide and serve children: priests, ministers, teachers, scout leaders, camp counselors, coaches, club leaders, dentists, doctors, therapists, crossing guards and volunteer school aides.
- Commonly they are too friendly: You want your child’s coach to be friendly, and that is often the first thing that parents said about accused coaches – that they were the friendliest ones. Predators do this for a reason; they want to be easy to be around so you will trust your child with them.
- They act like family: They will integrate themselves into your family by stopping by, giving parent-like advice to your child, offering to pick or drop your child up from practice, or spend time alone with them.
- They offer to let your child stay with them. Whether or not there is a valid reason at the time.
- They give your child gifts.
- They seem dependent on your child’s success. This can be a sign of an unhealthy emotional bond and increases the likelihood of abuse.
Child molestation is a serial event. It does not happen once. A child initially may admit to one event, but through therapy it is often found to have involved multiple events.
Without fail, report child molestation to your police department. A trained sexual abuse officer will interview your child. You can trust the child abuse officer to be well trained, gentle and careful.
Once there is a crime report under California law your child is entitled to medical care for therapy from the California Victim Compensation Board, usually administered through your county’s District Attorney’s Office.
After the police investigation is completed the report will delivered to the sexual assault team of the District Attorney’s Office for a final decision on prosecuting the molester.
Overwhelmingly, criminal charges result in guilty pleas and prison sentences without trials. In the rare case in which there is a trial, your child will be protected in the courtroom by the therapist who knows your child well, plus the judge and district attorney. Lawyers for criminal defendants will be on their best behavior and must conduct themselves with appropriate care to avoid offending jurors.
Therapy is the key to restoring the mental health of your child and your family. For previous generations, the common response was not to talk about it on the theory that it would “go away” and recede in memory. The fact is that abuse is never forgotten but with appropriate therapy comes an understanding and restoration of self-esteem that precludes long-term psychological damage.
In our experience, when child abuse is discovered soon after it occurs and therapy begins promptly with a qualified child therapist, the outcomes are positive. On the other end of the spectrum, long delays between abuse and therapy can cause lasting harm.
What Are The Effects Of Childhood Sexual Assault?
The psychological scars of child molestation can be enduring with terrible consequences in every facet of life and at great cost emotionally, and even financially, to the survivor and their family.
The effects of childhood sexual abuse can include:
- Physical injury
- Post-traumatic stress or complex post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Other serious psychological conditions
- Severe emotional pain
- Loss of self-esteem, damage to self-worth and destroyed self-confidence
Abused children who receive therapy soon after being molested have the best psychological outcomes and develop an understanding that what happened was not their fault. Delayed discovery and delayed psychological counseling can take a devastating toll and require years of therapy and support.
We Keep Confidentiality In Childhood Assault Cases
Childhood sexual abuse is commonly shrouded in guilt and shame for survivors. Sadly, that keeps survivors from coming forward.
Survivors are never at fault for what happened to them, but even so, the stigma and misplaced shame they carry makes coming forward is extremely difficult, and many people never do. That’s why we keep the identity of children and all other victims confidential, so they can safely obtain compensation through the civil legal system without public exposure.
Our protocol is to avoid publicity. There have been only a few exceptions when we could not maintain confidentiality. Usually when a case was tried in open court and when a last-minute settlement was placed on the record in court.
- $28,000,000 verdict for Denis Flynn was preceded by extensive television and press coverage of the arrest and criminal prosecution of a man and a woman who adopted a nine-year-old from Russia and made him a sex slave. They are serving prison terms for child sexual abuse and rape.
- The San Jose Mercury News in McGreevy v. Abbott: “Monday’s verdict before Superior Court Judge Conrad L. Rushing is thought to be the first of its kind against a child molester in Santa Clara County …”
- The San Francisco Chronicle: “A young San Jose woman who was sexually molested by her stepfather nine years ago was awarded $210,000 worth of real estate yesterday as compensation for the psychological damages she suffered. ‘We took every penny he had, which was our intention,’ said attorney Richard Alexander, who represented 18-year-old Julie Baker in her lawsuit against Ralph Meyer, 52. The suit was scheduled to go to trial yesterday in Santa Clara County Superior Court, but was settled at the last minute.”
- Other than these cases, awards and settlements have remained confidential.
Prior Accusations Of Child Sexual Abuse Are Common
All too often when a family comes to us, we discover that:
- The offender is a serial predator. It just doesn’t happen once.
- There were prior accusations of molestation by other children.
- Those accusations were dismissed with no investigation or downplayed, with the molester receiving only a reprimand, a transfer, or, in some cases, a quiet dismissal, but with no official charges.
- Nothing had been done to remove the predator, an accused child molester, away from future prey.
- The predator’s abuse continues unarrested.
In these situations, the child molester continued victimizing children and could have been stopped, but their employer or the board that governs them dismissed or downplayed the accusations or engaged in an outright coverup for the sake of their own reputation while doing nothing to protect the children.
We Have Pursued Legal Action On Behalf Of Childhood Abuse Survivors
We have successfully pursued legal action against perpetrators of childhood sexual assault, as well as organizations negligent in responding to allegations of childhood sexual assault or negligent in dealing with accused offenders, including:
- Churches, bishops and ordained clergy
- Bay Area schools and school districts, including Palo Alto School District, Mountain View-Los Altos High School District and Harker Academy
- Medical care providers, including Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Permanente Medical Group Inc.
- Government agencies, San Mateo and Tulare Counties, Santa Clara County Office of Education
- Boy Scouts of America
- Childcare service providers
- Child sports: including Little League Baseball, Tri-City Little League, Sunnyvale-Cupertino PAL/Pop Warner Football and Peninsula Pop Warner Football
While no amount of money can repair the damage done to a child and their family by a child molester, for over 35 years Alexander Law Group lawyers have relentlessly pursued every possible avenue available to ensure that sexually abused children will have the funds necessary for the medical and psychological counseling they will need throughout their lives and to pay them for the damage they have suffered and continue to suffer.
Child abuse cause terrible injuries and while no amount of money can repair the damage done to a child and their family by a child molester.
The most critical requirement for a civil abuse lawsuit is that it must be filed against a collectible defendant who can pay for the harm they caused, otherwise there is nothing to win. Suing a school, school district, church, Boy Scouts, camp operator or other third parties that failed to supervise and prevent molestation is the only financially worthwhile lawsuit.
That is terrible news for the family of a child who has been abused but it is the reality of the civil justice system.
Regrettably, a molester’s homeowners insurance does not provide coverage even though abuse arises as a result of a well-recognized mental condition. And with very rare exceptions, molesters do not have a substantial net worth to justify pursuing them, especially after they pay their criminal defense lawyers.
Hold Perpetrators Accountable For Abuse
We are advocates for our clients and we invite you to read what our clients have to say about us. We operate on a contingent fee basis, which means we never charge a fee or costs unless in the case of children without the approval of a Judge of the Superior Court.
If you or someone you know has been a victim of childhood sexual abuse, molestation or sexual assault, contact our firm immediately to discuss survivors’ rights and the legal care that we can provide. Call 888-777-1776 or send us an email.