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 and forced her to drive to an isolated area. Source, http://abclocal.go.com, “Suspect sought in rape of girl, 17, in North Philadelphia”
Also, here is another related headline from a local Philadelphia CBS news website: “Bucks County Softball Coach Charged With Sex Assault Of 16-Year-Old”.
Criminal Justice in a Sex Abuse/Assault Case in Pennsylvania
Filing a police report is very important in any sex abuse/assault case. The reality is that people who are capable of committing such crimes will reoffend if not punished and incarcerated. The sooner a report is filed, the better. Detectives are very skilled at interviewing witnesses and investigating sex abuse cases. Many police departments have special victims units whose detectives and officers are particularly skilled at handling sex abuse/assault cases.
After a sexual abuse/assault case is investigated by law enforcement and a suspect is identified, the local county District Attorney’s office will decide whether to prosecute the case. At this point, if the DA’s office proceeds, the victim will usually be assigned a victim coordinator or volunteer. The victim coordinator will help the victim with emotional support and various other administrative issues such as getting to court.
Civil Justice in a Sex Abuse/Assault Case in Pennsylvania
Victims of sex abuse and sex assault have the legal right to seek justice in the civil courts. Perpetrators can be sued and held accountable for civil damages. In addition, victims may be able to bring suit against other parties whose negligent actions contributed to the crime in any way.
For example, a group home may be sued in the following hypothetical situation. A group home resident rapes a woman living down the street from the group home. The group home had knowledge of the resident’s sexually violent tendencies, yet did nothing. Evidence at trial shows that the entity running the group home had a financial incentive for keeping residents at the home. It received a per resident monthly fee for providing housing. There is certainly enough evidence to show that the group home’s knowledge of the sexually violent tendencies and failure to act reasonably in response to that knowledge amount to negligence.
More from our Sex Abuse Victims Legal Rights Law Library:
- Sexual Assaults in Apartment Complexes – Beware of Sex Offenders
- Landlord Liability for Negligent Security at Apartment Complexes and Buildings in Pennsylvania and New Jersey
Sexual Abuse Victims Attorney & Advocate
Laffey, Bucci & Kent handles sexual abuse cases in the Northeast area with offices in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. Attorneys at the firm are licensed in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The firm has the resources and experience to handle sex abuse cases in all states and welcomes calls from the public and local counsel about potential cases.
**This website does not provide legal advice. Every case is unique and it is crucial to get a qualified, expert legal opinion prior to making any decisions about your case. See the full disclaimer at the bottom of this page.