Liability for Sexual Battery and Assault
Sexual misconduct, including harassment and battery are most certainly, criminal offenses. But while our criminal justice system may be, arguably, effective at punishing those who victimize others, it often isn’t so good at getting the victims the compensation that they need to help them recover from the physical and emotional trauma that sexual abuse can cause.
The personal injury (civil) legal system, however, can. And many people aren’t aware that if they or someone they know is a victim of sexual abuse, that they may have a civil injury lawsuit, to help them recover.
Battery and Assault
Many times, people will use the term sexual battery and sexual assault, interchangeably, or else, they will just lump all sexual misconduct into the general category of “rape.”
But in fact there are differing acts that can allow a victim to recover compensation, and a perpetrator or wrongdoer doe not have to rape anybody, to be guilty of, or liable for, sexual misconduct.
Of course, sexual battery often includes the unwanted physical touching of someone else, but that touching does not have to be a completed sexual act, in order to be actionable and allow a victim to recover damages. Any unwanted sexual touching can constitute a sexual battery.
Sexual assault is often overlooked by victims, because it may not entail any touching at all, but can still be a violation of our privacy, or sexual misconduct. For example, someone who exposes himself to someone else, may be guilty of sexual misconduct, even though there was no physical contact.
Getting an Attorney
In a sexual misconduct case, having a trusted personal injury attorney is vital. The lawsuit will necessarily involve a retelling of the sexual assault or battery, and even some face to face contact with the perpetrator, possibly in depositions, mediations or court hearings. Having a good attorney to protect your rights, and calm your nerves in these situations, is vital. Your attorney isn’t just an attorney; he or she is an advisor and confidante in these very sensitive legal cases.
This is all the more important when the case is brought against those who have close relationships to us, such as a case against clergy, or against fellow employees.
More parties than you think can be liable for sexual misconduct. Of course, when the assault or battery is a result of a random attack, the property where the attack occurred, may be liable for a negligent supervision claim. When the attack is from a co-employee, or even complete stranger who may attack or assault us during the course of work, the liability may lie in a negligent hiring claim, or a negligent retention or vicarious liability lawsuit.
Any assault on kids is particularly sensitive and scary. Anybody in a custodial relationship—clergy, teacher or others – may have liability in those situations.
Have you been a victim of a sexual assault? We can help you get compensation for this very intrusive and devastating event. Call the Boston personal injury lawyers at The Law Office of Joseph Linnehan, Jr. today at 617-275-4200 for help.