• Changing the Way People Think About Lawyers

    Work Accidents  •  Crime Victims  •  Premises Liability  •  Defective Products

    Auto Accidents  •  Medical Malpractice  •  Brain Injuries

  • Over $100 Million for Injured Workers in Pennsylvania & New Jersey


    Work & Construction Accident Lawyers

    Jeff Laffey  •  Paul Bucci  •  Brian Kent

  • What Our Clients Say


    “I have the utmost respect for Brian, Jeff, and Paul. They left a positive mark on my life.”


    “I would highly recommend your office to others. Everyone in the office is a true professional."

  • Results Matter in Your Injury Case


    $9 million - Pennsylvania Auto Accident

    $3 million - Philadelphia Surgical Malpractice

    $2.75 million - Slip & Fall Accident

 

Sexual Assault & Abuse Law Library

Victims of sexual assault and abuse deserve justice. Whether you are a victim of sex abuse in a school setting or by an unknown assailant, you deserve justice in the criminal and civil courts to the fullest extent of the law. Civil tort system can accomplish what the criminal system cannot, financial compensation for the devastating mental and emotional trauma caused by the assault/abuse. However, many sexual assault and abuse victims are unaware of their potential legal rights to obtain financial compensation.

Firm partner, Brian Kent, is a former sex crimes unit prosecutor who takes great pride in helping victims of sex abuse. Please call the firm for a free consultation. 800.220.7600

The following articles, frequently asked questions, blogposts and news articles are for information only. Prior to making any decisions about your case, it is vital to contact an experienced, knowledgeable lawyer.


Sexual Assault & Abuse Law Articles

  • Pain & Suffering in Sex Assault or Abuse Lawsuits – Legal Info for Victims (August 10th, 2017) Pain, suffering damages are available in sex assault or sex abuse lawsuits. Whether victims of abuse and assault can recover financial compensation depends on the facts of each case. Who is liable? Is there solid evidence of fault? Where does compensation come from?
  • Passing the Trash in School Sex Abuse Cases – By a Philadelphia, PA and NJ Sex Abuse Lawyer (March 03rd, 2016) Passing the trash is the term given to the practice of giving good reviews or endorsements to former employees who are known sexual offenders. Schools, churches and youth organizations engage in this practice to effectively wipe their hands clean of sexual offenders.
  • PA & NJ Sex Abuse Cases – Abusers Often Groom Victims (March 02nd, 2016) Many sex abuse victims are groomed by their abusers, i.e., abusers build trust with their victims. In fact, sexual predators also groom adults around the victims. See examples of how predators groom their victims and adults around victims to gain access to the victims.
  • “Top” Rated PA Child Sex Abuse Lawyer Discusses Why Victims Do Not Report Abuse (February 23rd, 2016) A “Top” rated Pennsylvania child sex abuse victim lawyer talks about why victims do not report abuse. Do they still have legal rights?
  • Most Sexual Predators are Known to Victims of Sex Abuse – By a Phila. PA Sex Abuse Lawyer (December 03rd, 2015) Sexual predators do not randomly pick their victims. Rather, they observe their victims and often pick victims who are vulnerable. Victims have legal rights against their perpetrators in both criminal and civil courts.
  • Sexual Abuse of Teens & Adolescents – Brain Development & Harm (August 21st, 2015) There is a common misconception that teens and young adults who engage in “sexual relationships” do so voluntarily, or that adults who have sexual contact with teens aren’t as bad as those who target younger children. However, there are two important factors which underscore the fact that sexual abuse of teens and adolescents is a ...
  • Georgia Opens 2 Year Window Survivors of Child Sex Abuse May File Civil Lawsuits Against Perpetrators (August 03rd, 2015) Earlier this year, Georgia’s legislature passed a law aimed at helping survivors of child sex abuse proceed with civil lawsuits. The Hidden Predator Act was signed by Georgia’s governor in May 2015. It is one of the most expansive child sex abuse statute of limitations laws in the United States. Not only does the Act ...
  • Pennsylvania Child Molestation-Abuse Lawsuits: What is the Statute of Limitations? (December 03rd, 2014) Is Your Lawsuit Time-Barred? One of the most common questions victims of child molestation and abuse want to know is whether they still have time to file civil lawsuits in Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, the answer is very complex for two reasons. First, Pennsylvania statute of limitations law for child sex abuse lawsuits was changed significantly in 2002. Second, ...
  • Sexual Assaults-Abuse by School Employees on School Field Trips (October 06th, 2014) In the past few years, there have been literally dozens of cases of teacher-student sexual abuse or assault. The problem isn’t limited to teachers, other school employees like coaches and even principals have been embroiled in student sexual abuse or assault cases. For example, this year, a Philadelphia area pee-wee football coach was accused of ...
  • Want to File a Sex Abuse-Assault Lawsuit in Pennsylvania? What You Need to Know (September 16th, 2014) Victims of sex abuse or assault who are considering filing lawsuits in Pennsylvania have more at stake than plaintiffs in other types of tort/injury lawsuits. That’s because of the very personal nature of the case. Sexual abuse and assault result in extreme mental and emotional trauma. While there are many variables involved in deciding whether ...
  • Punitive Damages in Pennsylvania Sex Abuse-Assault Lawsuits (September 10th, 2014) Victims of sex abuse or sex assault in Pennsylvania may be entitled to financial compensation. That’s because Pennsylvania tort laws recognize the legal right to compensation in cases where an individual intentionally or negligently causes harm to another. The harm caused by sexual abuse and sexual assault is very grave. There may be physical injuries and ...
  • Civil Sex Abuse-Assault Lawsuits & Financial Compensation in Pennsylvania – 3 Case Scenarios (September 04th, 2014) Under the laws of Pennsylvania, victims of sexual abuse or assault may be entitled to make claims for financial compensation against the perpetrator as well as any other person or entity which knew of the abuse yet failed to stop it. In addition, other people or entities which knew of the risk of abuse, yet ...
  • How Much Compensation Can You Receive for a Civil Sex Abuse Lawsuit in Philadelphia? (September 03rd, 2014) Victims of sex abuse or assault in Pennsylvania are often surprised to learn that the ultimate outcome of their civil lawsuits will likely be financial compensation. That’s because the civil justice system corrects wrongs by awarding the aggrieved party monetary damages. Pennsylvania’s courts are usually only able to enforce monetary judgments. Financial compensation in civil sex ...
  • Sexual Harassment & Teens (August 12th, 2014) At a time when teens are developing their sexuality, they are bombarded with sexual images practically everywhere. Even children are exposed to sexual images at early ages on television or through their favorite pop stars. In recent years, pop stars are wearing less and less and are also engaging in sexually suggestive behavior on stage. ...
  • Preventing Sexual Violence Among Teens (August 12th, 2014) Sexual violence is all over the news in recent years. From child molestation cases to sexual assaults committed by teens, we are inundated with reports of sexual violence and children. Just recently, a 17 year old was arrested and charged with the sexual assault and murder of a 6 year old girl in Washington. This ...
  • College Sexual Assault Lawsuits – Who are the Parties? (August 10th, 2014) Defendants in a College Sexual Assault Case Like cases of bullying, cases of school sexual assaults are on the rise. Sexual violence in school often takes the form of coerced sexual contact, date rape and sexual harassment. Many students will become victims of sexual assault in a college setting, and will be too embarrassed to file ...
  • Sex Abuse & Molestation is Perpetrated by People from All Walks of Life (August 08th, 2014) Sexual abuse and molestation is perpetrated by those from all walks of life. No matter the socioeconomic status, the profession or the age, sex abuse can be perpetrated by literally, anyone. Only recently, has the extent of the problem come to light. With increased media attention brought on by the Philadelphia church sex abuse scandal ...
  • Rights of New Jersey Crime Victims Against Government Entities – The State Created Danger Theory (August 06th, 2014) Whether it’s a physical assault or a sexual assault, state entities like state prisons, hospitals, schools, etc., may face liability for directly creating a dangerous situation or taking affirmative action which increases the risk of injury. This is known as the state created danger theory which is often applied in crime victim injury cases which ...
  • Sexually Assaulted at College in Pennsylvania or New Jersey – What are Your Legal Rights? (July 28th, 2014) Sexual assaults, such as rape, sexual abuse and even harassment, occur everywhere, even at colleges and universities. There have been major media reports of colleges engaging in questionable, unethical behavior when responding to reports of campus sexual assaults. Some colleges have been under fire for essentially sweeping such reports under the rug, and engaging in ...
  • Damages Recoverable in a Civil Sex Abuse Lawsuit in Pennsylvania & New Jersey (July 20th, 2014) How the Civil Justice System Operates in Civil Sex Abuse Lawsuits The civil justice system decides the rights and responsibilities of the parties in a lawsuit. Whether it’s a civil sex abuse case or a contract matter, the civil justice system rights wrongs by awarding financial compensation to the injured party. The at-fault party will be ...
  • Civil Sex Abuse & Assault Cases – Three Case Analyses (July 13th, 2014) Civil sexual abuse and sexual assault cases are increasingly common, due in large part to increased media attention about the problem. The national dialogue has shifted, which in turn has helped victims find the courage to come forward and seek justice. Related: Help Fight for Victims of Child Sex Abuse and Molestation Civil cases are often filed ...
  • College Sexual Assault & Rape – Developing a Campus Sexual Assault Program (July 01st, 2014) Colleges and universities across the country have come under fire recently for failing to respond appropriately to reports of campus and off campus sexual assault. In some instances, victims have reported that their college administrators ignored their reports of sexual violence, and some colleges are accused of failing to follow internal procedures which required filing ...
  • College Sexual Assaults – The Problem of Student-Student Sexual Violence (June 04th, 2014) Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Education released a list of 55 colleges and universities under investigation for violating federal law in the handling of sexual assault and harassment complaints by students. The law at issue, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, prohibits discrimination based on sex in education and education related ...
  • College Sexual Assaults – Justice for Victims in Civil Sexual Assault Lawsuits (June 04th, 2014) In the past few years, the topic of school sexual assault and abuse has made national headlines, time and time again. What started with the Penn State Sandusky scandal has turned into a barrage of reports of teachers sexually abusing students and students sexually assaulting other students. This happens at every type of educational institution, ...
  • Civil Sex Abuse & Assault Lawsuits in Pennsylvania – Who are the Parties? (May 20th, 2014) The Plaintiffs in a Civil Sex Abuse-Assault Case in PA Depending on the nature of the specific case, the plaintiff in a civil case is usually the individual who was harmed by the conduct. In most civil sex abuse cases, the plaintiff will be the victim. However, in some cases, other parties may be named as ...
  • Civil Sex Abuse & Assault Lawsuits in Pennsylvania – Justice Beyond the Criminal Courts (May 20th, 2014) Victims of sex abuse and sex assault are often surprised to learn that they have legal recourse, beyond the criminal courts and beyond simply going after the individual(s) who committed the act. Related: Civil Sex Abuse & Assault Lawsuits in Pennsylvania – Who are the Parties? Justice for Victims of Sex Abuse – Beyond the Criminal Courts Under ...
  • Sex Assault/Abuse at Work, Part 2 (April 21st, 2014) Violence in the workplace is a major problem in this country, and sexual abuse/assault is no exception. In general, workplace sexual assaults tend to involve 3 situations: sexual assault by a stranger, sexual assault by a co-worker or other member of the workplace, and sexual assault by someone known to the victim, but who is not associated with ...
  • Sex Assault & Abuse in Pennsylvania Youth Institutions (April 14th, 2014) Criminal Liability for Sex Abuse of Youths Under Pennsylvania criminal law, employees of certain youth institutions may be convicted of a third degree felony for having sexual contact with inmates, detainees, patients or residents. Specifically, 18 Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes Section 3124.2(a) and (a.1), the institutional sexual assault criminal  law, applies to the following types of youth ...
  • Sexual Assaults/Abuse at Work (April 03rd, 2014) Sexual assaults and abuse in the workplace is nothing new. In fact, sexual assaults at work is a serious problem in workplaces across the U.S. There are 3 common types of sexual assault situations involving the workplace: sexual assault by a stranger, sexual assault by a co-worker or other member of the workplace, and sexual assault by a ...
  • Rights of Assault & Sexual Assault Victims in PA – A Brief Overview (March 02nd, 2014) Victims of physical assault and sexual assault, including child molestation and child sex abuse, may be able to seek justice in the civil courts by filing lawsuits against the wrongdoer, the criminal defendant. However, they may also be able to file suit against other parties whose negligent actions contributed to the assault. The classic example ...
  • Homeowners’ Insurance May Provide Coverage for Victims of Assaults, Sexual Assaults & Shootings (March 02nd, 2014) The terms “homeowners’ insurance” and “renters’ insurance” are misnomers because they do not apply solely to accidents and injuries which occur on an insured person’s property. Rather, they should be called “negligence insurance” or “liability insurance” because these kinds of insurance policies often apply to situations occurring outside of and off of the insured home. ...
  • What to Know About Getting Justice in Sex Abuse & Assault Cases in PA (October 04th, 2013) Sex abuse and sex assaults certainly seem to be on the rise. Every day, there is a new report about a sexual assault. Just last month, a 17 year old Philadelphia girl was raped after a man jumped into her car while she was at a stop light. The perpetrator jumped into the girl’s car ...
  • Liability for Sexual Assaults – Can a Landlord Be Held Liable? | PA Sex Abuse Lawyer (June 12th, 2013) Landlord Liability for Sexual Assaults of Tenants and Guests Under Pennsylvania and New Jersey law, businesses may bear liability for the acts of third parties (e.g., criminals). That liability includes robberies, rapes and other violent assaults. Liability may extend to other parties in addition to the landlord or property owner. For instance, a property management company ...
  • Analysis of Amendments to Minnesota Statutes, Section 541.073 re: Child Sex Abuse & Sex Abuse Statute of Limitations (May 02nd, 2013) In a move heralded as a major step towards justice for sex abuse victims, the Minnesota legislature is considering two bills with major implications. The bills would abolish the statute of limitations for civil child sex abuse cases. Minnesota’s House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly in support of the bill, HF681. A companion bill, SF534, is ...
  • Minnesota’s Proposed Child Sex Abuse Law Eliminating the Statute of Limitations (May 02nd, 2013) Earlier this year, the Minnesota legislature began considering sweeping changes to its statute of limitations in civil child sex abuse cases. As of yesterday, a large majority of the members of Minnesota’s House of Representatives voted in favor of passing the Minnesota Child Victims Act. The new law would amend Minnesota Statutes 2012, Section 541.073. The ...
  • Parent Alert: Be Aware of Tactics Used by Child Molesters (February 27th, 2013) Children can be sexually abused at any age, and most sexual abuse is perpetrated by people they know, including family members, friends, teachers, daycare workers, etc. According to the American Psychological Association: 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused by the age of 18; 90% of child sex abuse victims know the ...
  • Resolving a Civil Sex Abuse Lawsuit (February 10th, 2013) Many victims of sex abuse who are contemplating filing a civil lawsuit want to know more about the process and how the case will be resolved. For many victims, filing a a civil sex abuse lawsuit is a big step on the road to justice. It is not an easy decision to make. Being informed ...
  • Sex Abuse & Disabled Children – Tips for Parents (December 13th, 2012) There is nothing more difficult than when a disabled child has been the victim of abuse. A parent may discover the abuse after it is too late; weeks, months and even years of abuse may have occurred. Disabled children of all ages and all disabilities are often targets of physical, mental and even sexual abuse. Even ...
  • Pennsylvania & New Jersey Sexual Abuse Law – Government Liability for Sex Abuse (November 02nd, 2012) The Snake Pit Theory of Liability Against Government Agencies for Sex Abuse With the recent media attention around Pennsylvania for the Penn State Jerry Sandusky scandal and the Philadelphia Archdiocese priest abuse scandal, victims of sexual abuse are finding it easier to come forward.  Sexual abuse is a form of violence which leaves incredibly deep and ...
  • How to Corroborate Sex Abuse in a Civil Lawsuit (October 26th, 2012) Victims considering filing a lawsuit against a sexual abuser, especially in cases of child molestation, should be prepared to do so. Sexual abuse cases often boil down to credibility, especially if the defendant fails to admit the abuse. Corroborating evidence can help to bolster credibility. One of the issues in a sex abuse case involving child ...
  • Rights of Sexual Abuse Victims in Pennsylvania (September 24th, 2012) The Pennsylvania civil justice system is designed to give victims of crime a voice, a chance to be heard and a chance to obtain justice for the terrible acts committed upon them by the abuser. In a criminal case, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania holds the defendant abuser accountable for violation of the criminal code. In ...
  • The Repressed Memory Theory in Pennsylvania Priest and Child Sex Abuse Cases (September 03rd, 2012) With the recent Penn State sex abuse scandal and the Philadelphia Archdiocese priest abuse criminal trial, the time is right for Pennsylvania to reverse prior case law regarding a victim’s ability to bring a civil lawsuit. Like its neighboring state, New Jersey, Pennsylvania should allow victims to proceed in civil priest and child sex abuse cases ...
  • Pennsylvania Child Sex Abuse Law: The Statute of Limitations (March 06th, 2012) Victims of child molestation including victims of priest or clergy sex abuse deserve justice. However, overcoming the statute of limitations is not an easy task. It takes great courage to come to terms with years of sexual abuse by a trusted family member such as a priest or member of the clergy. For most victims, this ...

Sexual Assault & Abuse Law FAQs

  • Pennsylvania Civil Sex Abuse Law: Should you file a civil lawsuit? What should victims of sex abuse know about filing a civil lawsuit? Question: What should victims of sex abuse know about filing a civil lawsuit in Pennsylvania? Answer: Sex abuse and assault is a stain on society that leave long lasting marks. Some victims of sex abuse or assault never recover at all. Many become addicted to ...
  • Workplace Assault Law Q&A: Liability for sexual assaults at work Question: What are the legal rights of victims of workplace sexual assault? Answer: Victims of workplace assaults including sexual assaults have two main avenues to justice. First, the victim can and should institute criminal proceedings by filing a report with local law enforcement. Second, the victim can pursue justice via the civil courts. Criminal Justice for Workplace ...
  • Can a tenant’s guest make a sex abuse claim against a landlord in Pennsylvania? In Pennsylvania, a landlord may owe duties to a tenant’s guest. Each case is unique and should be evaluated by a lawyer with experience handling negligence cases against landlords. In general, landlords have a duty to maintain common-access areas, such as parking lots, hallways, stairways, laundry rooms, etc. Failure to maintain, failure to correct a known ...
  • Can a group home in Pennsylvania be liable for sex abuse of a resident? A: Under Pennsylvania state and federal law, a group home or facility can be held liable when a resident is subjected to sex abuse. The key is proving some act of negligence on the part of the facility’s employees which directly or indirectly led to the abuse. However, the standard for liability which applies to ...
  • How is a civil sex abuse lawsuit resolved? A: There are many ways a civil sex abuse case can be resolved. Most civil cases will be resolved before a trial occurs. In fact, only a small percentage of civil cases will go to trial. Most cases will result in a settlement. No two cases are alike, and so, no two cases will be ...
  • Is a landlord liable for sexual assault that happens at an apartment complex? A: In certain situations, in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, landlords can be held liable when a tenant or guest is sexually assaulted at an apartment complex. Tort or negligence law requires some act of negligence or wrongdoing on the part of the landlord which allows a criminal to gain access to his or her victim. The ...
  • Why do victims of child sex abuse wait to report the abuse? A: There are many different reasons why victims of child sex abuse have difficultly reporting sexual abuse. For older children or teens, people often ask why they never told anyone about the abuse. The answer lies in the nature of the twisted relationship created by the abuser. Sex in general, is a taboo topic. This is ...
  • What are warning signs my child was sexually abused? A: There are many signs and symptoms that a child who is being subjected to sexual abuse will exhibit. However, each child is unique, and some children will not exhibit any symptoms at all. Signs of sexual abuse vary depending on factors such as the age of the child and the extent of the abuse.  ...
  • I was sexually assaulted in my apartment building but my case was not prosecuted. How can I seek justice? A: Victims of sexual abuse often do not know that a civil case can be brought against the abuser, even if a criminal case was not pursued, or was even lost. Civil claims may be brought against the abuser for the assault, so long as the case is filed before the statute of limitations expires. ...

Sexual Assault & Abuse Law Blogposts

  • HB 1947’s Retroactive Clause Gutted by the Pennsylvania Senate – Victims Still Waiting for Justice Pennsylvania statute of limitations laws for victims of child sex abuse are likely to be amended this year. But what about the civil window? The civil window was just removed by the Senate. Get the latest here.
  • PA School Driver Charged With Sexually Assaulting Special Needs Students A PA school bus driver was charged with sexually abusing special needs students. Brian Kent, a PA sex abuse lawyer, discusses victims’ legal rights in such situations.
  • Pennsylvania Lawmakers May Open Civil Window for Child Sex Abuse Lawsuits For immediate release, May 15, 2015 The Pennsylvania legislature is considering a new law which would open a special window for survivors of child sex abuse. This isn’t the first time Pennsylvania legislators have tried to get this law passed. In 2013, a similar amendment was introduced but never made it out of the judiciary committee. Senate ...
  • Sexual Violence in the U.S., Perspective from a Sex Abuse-Assault Lawyer In the last decade, the topic of sexual abuse and sexual assault has received widespread media attention. Almost 2 decades ago, the priest sex abuse scandal which rocked the Catholic Church brought the unique problem of sex abuse and assault to light. Since then, there have been other major sex abuse-assault scandals involving schools and ...
  • Minnesota On Track to Abolish Statute of Limitations in Civil Child Sex Abuse/Molestation Cases I’ve been following Minnesota’s Child Victims Act which is currently being considered in the Minnesota legislature. Two versions of the Child Victims Act made their way to the Minnesota House of Representatives and Senate. Earlier this month, in an almost unanimous vote, the House of Representatives voted to amend Minnesota’s statute of limitations in civil child ...
  • Parents Alert: Sexual Abusers Often Give Victims Drugs & Alcohol It’s no surprise – those who would sexually abuse others, especially children, use many tactics to commit sexual abuse. Use of drugs and alcohol is one of the many tactics. Parental views about alcohol and drugs should be clear to the child. Many parents may be inclined to share their personal experiences with drugs and alcohol ...
  • Beware of Child Molesters’ Tactics Last updated: October 13, 2015 The Jerry Sandusky case opened the floodgates for sex abuse news headlines around the country. Over the last few years, countless people have been investigated and charged with child sex abuse. In addition, there have been many civil lawsuits filed – the Boy Scouts scandal and the Los Angeles school district ...
  • Civil Sex Abuse Lawsuits – Negotiating for Change Ask any victim of sex abuse and the one thing they truly want is justice. After months, years or even decades of silence, a sex abuse victim wants to be heard, to know that the abuser is taking responsibility for his or her actions and will never hurt another person or child again. Filing criminal charges ...
  • Child Sex Abuse – Why Victims May Wait Years to Come Forward Many people often ask why a child does not report that they’ve been sexually abused. Also, some people have a hard time understanding why a teenager doesn’t report that they’ve been sexually abused. The reality is that for children young and old, it may take years, or well into adulthood to come to grips with sexual ...
  • Recovering from Child Sex Abuse We have seen horrific cases of sex abuse and molestation. Young and old alike suffer similar symptoms such as, anxiety, depression, guilt, doubt, etc. In addition, children who suffer repeated abuse by a trusted family member or friend, such as a priest or pastor, tend to exhibit severe symptoms both during childhood and into adulthood. Victims ...
  • Landlord Liability for Sexual Assaults of Tenants and Guests Under Pennsylvania law, landlords owe a duty to provide a reasonably safe environment and premises for tenants. This includes the duty to provide doors and windows which work properly. For high-rise apartment buildings in large cities like Philadelphia or New York, landlords must have reasonably safe procedures in place to keep unwanted persons from accessing ...
  • Pennsylvania & The Repressed Memory Theory in Child Sex Abuse Cases: Dalrymple v. Brown Dalrymple v. Brown was a 1997 Pennsylvania Supreme Court case which refused to allow the repressed memory theory to be used in any Pennsylvania child molestation or child sex abuse civil case. The issue in the Dalrymple case involved allegations of child sex abuse which occurred 20 years prior to when the plaintiff filed suit ...

Sexual Assault & Abuse Law Latest News


If you or a loved one was the victim of sexual assault or abuse in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey or New York, contact our experienced lawyers for a free, confidential consultation at 800.220.7600.

Our personal injury attorneys represent victims of crime throughout the Northeast area. They also work with lawyers nationwide and can obtain special admission in other states on a case by case basis.