When a child suffers sexual abuse at the hands of an adult they trust or a total stranger, it can lead to a lifetime of emotional suffering. It can cause self-esteem issues and affect any relationships or friendships they develop later in life.
At Evans Moore, LLC, we understand the impact of child sexual abuse and how difficult it can be for someone to find the courage to admit what happened to them. It can be even more challenging to face the abuser in court and hold them accountable for their actions.
According to statistics collected by the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, child protective services finds evidence of child sexual abuse every nine minutes. It’s a nationwide problem that’s often perpetrated by someone the victim knows. In 93% of cases, the victim says the abuse was by a family member or acquaintance.
Our Georgetown sexual misconduct lawyers are ready to take on your or your child’s case and fight for the justice you deserve. Although money can’t take away the years of suffering you endured, we hope financial compensation can offer closure and peace of mind knowing your abuser must face the consequences of their actions. Call Evans Moore, LLC at (843) 995-5000 for a free consultation today.
What Is Sexual Misconduct Against A Child?
Child sexual abuse involves unwanted or forced sexual activity with a minor child under 18 years old. Examples of this type of misconduct include:
- Exposing oneself to a child
- Fondling the buttocks, genitals, or breasts
- Taking sexually explicit photos of the child
- Coercing or forcing a child to fondle themself or another child
- Oral, vaginal, or anal sex
- Showing pornographic videos or images to a child
- Communicating in a sexual nature in person, on the phone, or through text or internet messaging
- Sex trafficking
Abusers can force these types of acts through violent physical force or nonviolent coercion or threats. Since minors cannot legally give consent to sexual acts, adults who engage in these sexual behaviors commit a serious crime. If you or your child was the victim of childhood sexual abuse, Evans Moore, LLC could represent you in your case and recover the maximum financial award you deserve.
Laws Associated With Childhood Sex Abuse
There is a statute of limitations for suing a person or entity responsible for the injuries you or your child sustained from sexual misconduct. According to South Carolina statute § 15-3-555, you must file your lawsuit within three years from the date you discovered the sexual abuse caused your injuries or within six years from the date you turn 21 years old.
Civil lawsuits differ from criminal cases. During a criminal case, a judge sentences the offender to state-mandated jail time or determines another type of penalty. However, during a civil lawsuit, the victim can seek monetary compensation for the expenses and intangible losses they suffered at the hands of the at-fault person or organization.
Certain organizations, such as churches, may try to cover up sexual misconduct to avoid a tainted reputation. However, more and more sex abuse survivors are standing up for their rights and the rights of others to hold their abusers accountable.
Federal laws are also in place to protect children who become victims of sexual abuse and to specify the penalties sexual offenders must face:
- Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offenders Registration Improvements Act of 1997 – Anyone convicted of a sex crime must register as a sex offender with the law enforcement agency where they reside.
- Kilah Davenport Child Protection Act of 2013 – Every three years, the U.S. Attorney General is required to report to the congressional judiciary committee on the penalties for violating child abuse laws. The punishment for child sex abuse, sexual abuse against a spouse or partner, and domestic assault are more severe than those determined in previous laws.
- Rape Survivor Child Custody Act – The Attorney General could provide grants to the mother of a child conceived through rape if she terminated the parental rights of the father of the child.
- Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 – This act established a comprehensive national registry of child sex offenders to protect children from these individuals.
Our South Carolina sexual misconduct lawyers will use every legal tool at our disposal to bring your or your child’s abuser to justice. They should not have the opportunity to hurt other children and put their families through additional pain. We will fight by your side for a favorable outcome in your case so you can move forward with your life.
Determining Liability in a Sexual Misconduct Case
Sexual predators are usually familiar faces that the child trusts. Common individuals and entities held liable in these types of cases include:
- Priests, other members of religious organizations, and churches
- Teachers and schools
- Youth organizations
- Foster parents
- Camp counselors
- Sports coaches and organizations
- Family members
- Healthcare professionals and medical facilities
If someone sexually abused your child, you should take immediate legal action. Hire a skilled, compassionate attorney and start preparing a case. We will help you understand your rights, and we’ll work vigorously to protect them. We have helped secure justice for numerous survivors, and we’ll leverage our experience and resources to fight for your case.
Compensation Available After Injuries Resulting From Sexual Misconduct
Survivors of childhood sexual abuse may suffer numerous losses as a result of the abuse and their injuries. Losses may result from necessary medical treatment, counseling services, and other expenses. There’s also the psychological aspect of surviving and dealing with the ongoing emotional pain, depression, and fear.
When you seek financial recovery in an injury claim or lawsuit, you may be able to seek compensation for the following losses:
- Pain and suffering
- Out of pocket expenses
- Past and future medical bills
- Mental anguish
- Physical impairment or disfigurement
- Lost income
- Punitive damages
The South Carolina sexual misconduct lawyers of Evans Moore, LLC will do everything in our power to maximize the compensation you receive. You might not realize how much money your case is worth. We will review every possible avenue of compensation to help you receive the full settlement or verdict you deserve.
South Carolina Seeking to Extend the Statute of Limitations
In South Carolina, lawmakers introduced a bill that could extend the statute of limitations in child sexual abuse cases, as many other states have done. This would extend the timeframe that sexual abuse survivors have to file a lawsuit against their abuse. However, it has not been signed into law yet.
In South Carolina, an amendment to South Carolina statute § 15-3-555 is still pending. This bill aims to extend the deadline for seeking civil action until the survivor turns 55 years old or within five years from the date they discovered the abuse caused any injuries. It also provides a one-year lookback window from the date this act becomes effective.
Currently, as per South Carolina statute § 15-3-555, you must file your lawsuit within six years from the date you turn 21 years old or within three years from the date you discovered the sexual abuse caused your injuries.
Evans Moore, LLC Is Ready to Fight for You and Your Child
Our South Carolina sexual misconduct lawyers know childhood sexual abuse can impact every part of a person’s life. Even after the physical injuries heal, the psychological trauma from that experience can last a lifetime. We can provide the compassionate, dependable, and caring representation you need, and we’ll do everything we can to help you and your family move forward.
At Evans Moore, LLC, we have a dedicated and experienced legal team you can depend on from start to finish of your case. We will advise you on your legal options and walk you through each step of the process, so you understand your rights and what to expect from an insurance claim or lawsuit. We will work hard not only to hold the perpetrator responsible for their actions but also the institution or organization that allowed the misconduct to continue.
Our award-winning South Carolina sexual misconduct lawyers have received recognition from national organizations, including Super Lawyers, the American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys, the American Society of Legal Advocates’ Top 40 Lawyers Under 40, and South Carolina’s Top 10 Verdicts.
We are proud to serve clients in Georgetown, Charleston, and throughout South Carolina. Call Evans Moore, LLC for a free consultation at (843) 995-5000 right now.