sexual abuse

Case Studies

Child Sex Abuse: New York State Extended Its Statute of Limitations

Until now, New York State’s sexual abuse laws were among the most restrictive laws in the nation. This changed on January 28th, 2019, when the Senate and Assembly approved the Child Victims Act, which extended the statute of limitations for child sex abuse.

Sexual abuse can often lead to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression and anxiety. Victims of childhood sexual abuse most of the time might not have adequate communication skills to report the event or provide details. Moreover, they may not even know at that time that the action or event constitutes sexual abuse. For many reasons, years and decades can pass until a victim decides to disclose what happened and take further steps to seek justice. Statistics of Child USA show that the average age of victims to disclose the event or events is 52.

Before the Child Victims Act, criminal or civil charges were required to be brought before the victim reached 23 years of age. Under the new bill, victims can bring civil cases until age 55 and prosecutors can bring criminal charges until the victim turns 28.

The new bill also includes a one year period after the law comes to effect, during which victims of any age will be able to sue the abuser no matter how long ago the event occurred. This period is included in the bill so that victims above the age of 55 can pursue legal action against their victimizers.

Furthermore, under the Child Victims Act, claims can be brought against individuals and both private and public institutions, such as schools, churches and organizations.

Contact The Orlow Firm Today

At The Orlow Firm our lawyers have extensive experience with sexual abuse cases and have helped many victims of sexual abuse to seek justice. Our expertise includes bringing lawsuits against individuals as well as private and public institutions. If you are or have been a victim of sexual abuse, do not hesitate to contact our attorneys. Our services are offered throughout New York City, including Queens, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Long Island, Staten Island and Manhattan.

To contact a New York child victims act attorney at our firm, call (646) 647-3398.

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Former inmate files lawsuit related to prison guard abuse

Even for those who have never spent a single night in jail or prison, it is easy to understand that this is not easy to deal with. Unfortunately, the situation can be even more stressful when prison guard abuse is running rampant.

No two prisons are the same, but the way inmates are supposed to be treated is similar throughout the United States. For this reason, our New York readers can learn a lot from a lawsuit filed by a woman regarding her treatment at a Birmingham, Alabama, work release center.

During her time at a Birmingham work release center, the woman claims she was sexually abused. As a result, she is suing the state. According to recent statements by the woman, the time she spent at the facility was nothing short of a nightmare. She claims she was afraid to sleep, but also afraid to stay awake as she never knew when she may run into the guard who was abusing her.

The lawsuit claims that in 2011, upon arriving at the facility, she was sexually assaulted and sexually harassed by a prison guard. On top of this, he attempted to rape her on multiple occasions. Making matters worse is the fact that she reported rapes to the warden, a woman, who noted that nothing could be done to solve the issue.

Despite the fact that the guard was eventually transferred to another facility, the woman claims that the harassment continued. She stated in the lawsuit that the man visited a hotel where she worked and raped her multiple times.

When a person is sent to prison, he or she is expected to serve time for the crime committed. However, there is no reason why they should be subjected to abuse from prison guards. Those who have been abused by guards have a right to seek compensation for various damages.

Source: Fox 19, “Lawsuit alleges prison guard raped former inmate” Sherea Harris, Nov. 05, 2013

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Who To Sue In A Sexual Assault Lawsuit?

Misconceptions On Sexual Assault Cases

Being assaulted is a traumatic event. Most victims, usually, will feel the need to see the assailant brought to justice.

A smart New York personal injury attorney, however, knows that there might be more to the case than meets the eye. Sometimes, assailants do not act alone. Or, there might be another person or entity who might be able to provide a better recovery for the victim’s injuries. Knowing who to go after is a key factor.

Transcription: It’s true that sexual abuse is very much in the news, not only in this last few months but this last few years. Primarily, we see the issue of clergy abuse involving children. But that is far from the only situation with sexual abuse unfortunately exist. It exist in a large variety of places and situations. It’s unfortunate because these are situations where children are usually thought to be safe and secure and it turns out that they’re not.

The problem in these situations is that it is very difficult to find out whether and if sexual abuse is taking place. You have children who are frightened or ashamed and will not speak about it. You will have a nursing home as individuals were incapable of speaking about it perhaps because of dementia all that conditions. Your threats often may to the children and those instances of even if you get to be to the older children, you’ll have situations where they won’t say anything. It becomes very important then for the regular caretakers of these individuals to make themselves familiar with the signs that exist that might tell you that sexual abuse is taking place.

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New York City police officers convicted of official misconduct

It goes without saying that most people with the New York Police Department are upstanding, responsible and moral police officers. But when an officer falls, he or she falls hard. There is no excuse for police officers using their positions of power to intimidate or brutalize New Yorkers, and when some of them do, they should be held responsible. In addition to sanctions at work or through the criminal justice system, police officers and departments can also be sued.

It is unknown if an East Village woman ever filed a lawsuit against the officers who she says visited her home on several occasions in August 2011. Dubbed the “rape cops,” the supervising officer was alleged to have raped the woman while she was drunk. His partner apparently napped on her couch during the entire encounter. This was not, however, the only time that the officers went to the woman’s apartment. The complaint says they returned three times, and each return visit was listed as official misconduct by the courts.

Though the officer’s attorneys argued that the men did not receive any kind of benefit from the visits and, thus, it could not be official misconduct, the court disagreed. The appeals panel stated that the benefit that the officer received was the “prospect of sexual relations” with the woman. In the end, the officer who was accused of raping the woman was sentenced to one year in prison, but he was acquitted of rape. His partner received a 60-day sentence.

Even as these officers were sentenced to prison for their misconduct, it may not have been enough for the woman who was terrorized by them. Fortunately, many people who are subject to official police misconduct can file lawsuits against the officers and the department for the financial and emotional costs associated with the officers’ actions.

Source: New York Daily News, “NYPD ‘rape cops’ headed to jail for brief sentences after appeal fails,” Janon Fisher, Nov. 8, 2012

Our firm has handled reports of police misconduct in New York City and if you would like more information about our work or general police brutality and misconduct, please visit our website.

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Survivor of child sex abuse named Woman of the Year

New York readers of Glamour Magazine may have already read that Erin Merryn was recently named the Woman of the Year. Merryn’s story is unique, however, in that her fame has come after a personal tragedy. Merryn was twice preyed upon by men in her life and has survived child sexual abuse. Now 27 years old, Merryn has been an outspoken advocate for education surrounding child sexual abuse.

Merryn is best known for her work toward getting Erin’s Law passed in all 50 states. Though New York has not yet passed the bill, she has managed to get four other states to create educational programs about sexual abuse prevention. Merryn hopes that these programs will help children recognize that sexual assault is not their fault and to get them to talk about any kinds of inappropriate sexual contact they experience. Merryn doesn’t want young children to wait until they are much older before they finally tell someone about the abuse they suffered.

Merryn’s advocacy directly related to her own experiences as a child. Between the ages of six and eight, her friend’s uncle had molested and raped her. Then, several years later, an older cousin started to sexually assault her. Though she recognized that what had happened was wrong, it was not until her younger sister told her that she too had been molested by their cousin that she broke her silence.

No child or adult in New York should ever face sexual assault, but, unfortunately, many do. In fact, Glamour Magazine says 300,000 reports of sexual assault are filed by children every year. Often times, there are individuals who can be held accountable, from the people who commit the abuse to the people who should have been supervising the children. When these horrible situations do happen, a New York sexual assault victim attorney may be able to make the people responsible pay for failing to prevent the abuse.

Source: Glamour Magazine, “Erin Merryn: the guardian angel,” Erin Zammett Ruddy

Our law firm works hard to provide survivors of sexual assault with compassionate and zealous advocacy. Learn more about our work by visiting our New York City rape victim page.

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