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Answering Your Questions About Child Sexual Abuse Lawsuits

Child sexual abuse can have lasting consequences for the victim and their entire family. In many cases, you have the right to seek justice through a civil claim with the help of a skilled child sexual abuse attorney.

I am attorney Konrad Kircher, and I am here for you. At Kircher Law, LLC, I have been holding child predators accountable for what they have done to victims for the past 30 years. Below, I have provided some answers to common questions I hear from clients as they start their cases.

How do criminal and civil lawsuits for child sexual abuse differ?

Criminal lawsuits are initiated by the state to punish offenders, while civil lawsuits are filed by victims seeking compensation. Criminal cases focus on proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, whereas civil cases require a preponderance of evidence to establish liability. A civil case can even succeed where a criminal case failed or was never filed.

How do you report child sexual abuse in Ohio?

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services has introduced 855-O-H-CHILD (855-642-4453). This automated phone directory directly links callers to a child welfare or law enforcement office in their county. You can channel any anonymous child sexual abuse reports through this service.

What are the statutes of limitations on sexual abuse cases in Ohio?

Child victims of sexual abuse have a 12-year statute of limitations, commencing when the victim turns 18. Essentially, individuals who have experienced child sexual abuse must initiate a lawsuit before reaching the age of 30. Adult victims of sexual assault are required to file a civil lawsuit within one year of the attack.

Can victims of child sexual abuse remain anonymous during legal proceedings?

State law provides measures to protect the identity of child victims, including closed courtrooms and restrictions on publishing names. Even for adults, however, the court may permit the plaintiff to file their claim under a pseudonym to remain anonymous in various situations, including when:

  • The information included in the suit is highly sensitive or personal.
  • The suit involved images that were taken of the plaintiff when they were a minor.
  • The plaintiff fears retaliation or harassment due to the publicity.
  • The plaintiff feels intense humiliation or embarrassment over the intimate nature of some revelations included in the lawsuit.

In essence, it may be possible to show the court that forcing the victim of child sexual abuse to reveal their identity in a lawsuit would further bring further harm. So long as there is no significant detriment (prejudice) to the defendant in the case, the plaintiff should be allowed to proceed anonymously. An attorney with experience handling cases involving child sexual abuse can help you understand when anonymity is possible.

What are the long-term impacts of child sexual abuse?

Child sexual abuse can lead to profound and lasting impacts, affecting mental health, relationships and self-esteem like anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Suvivors seeking support and healing may find empowerment through connecting with mental health professionals, advocacy organizations, and support groups.

What types of damages can be recovered in a child sexual abuse civil lawsuit?

Various types of damages can be sought in a child sexual abuse civil lawsuit, depending on the specific circumstance of the case. These can include:

  • Compensatory damages: These are directly tied to a plaintiff’s financial losses, and can include things like lost wages, medical bills, therapy bills and more.
  • Non-compensatory damages: These are incredibly important in cases involving sexual abuse because they include lost enjoyment of life, emotional distress and pain and suffering.
  • Punitive damages: In Ohio, punitive damages cannot exceed twice the amount of compensatory damages, but they can be awarded in cases where the defendant’s behavior is particularly egregious.

Establishing the value of your claim requires a close look into the specific circumstances of your case.

Get In Touch For More Answers

In the face of child sexual abuse, state laws empower survivors to seek justice with the support of skilled Ohio child sexual abuse attorneys. I welcome you to call me at 888-725-0811 or use my online form to schedule a free initial consultation.