Is There a Statute of Limitations on Child Molestation in New York?
In January 2019, New York passed a state legislation called the Child Victims Act. This legislation temporarily eliminated the statute of limitations on child molestation and other forms of sexual abuse against a child (from August 14th , 2019 to August 13th , 2021). More importantly, the legislation has substantially expanded the statute of limitations on child molestation beyond 13th August, 2021.
Under the new law anyone in the state who suffered molestation or another type of sexual abuse as a child can file a civil lawsuit for damages against the sexual offender as well as a private or public institution associated with the incident – until the victim is 55 years old. Prior to this law, victims of child molestation and child sexual abuse could only file a civil claim until the age of 23 years.
How does the Expansion of Statute of Limitations to 55 Years Help?
Victims of child molestation and other forms of child sexual assault and abuse often suffer in silence for years or decades. The tender age at which they experienced the most horrifying crime of child molestation or abuse can destroy their childhood or innocence in many ways. It can damage their self-esteem and self-confidence, leaving them emotionally scarred, and often result in long-term psychological and mental health conditions, such as PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).
The child victim may somehow start believing that it was their own fault to have been victimized by the perpetrator. They may not confide in their parents, caregivers or well-wishers about the incident, and may continue to endure the pain and suffering all alone. In these circumstances, the statute of limitations which would expire when they turn 23 could leave many victims without any recourse to justice.
By the time the victim of child molestation grows older and gains the courage to bring the perpetrator to justice and attain a sense of closure, it would already be too late. All this has now changed with the passage of the New York Child Victims Act, 2019. Now the survivors of child molestation and child sexual assault can hold individuals and powerful organizations liable for civil damages until the victim is 55 years old.
Why Should You File a Civil Claim for Child Molestation?
Sometimes the victim may report the criminal offense of child molestation to the police, but may be reluctant to pursue additional legal action in the form of a civil case for damages. Here are three important reasons why you should be prepared to pursue a civil case with aggressive yet compassionate New York sexual assult attorney Michael S. Lamonsoff, Esq in New York:
- Maximum Financial Compensation: Attorney Michael S. Lamonsoff and his legal team will leave no stone unturned to fight for maximum financial damages on your behalf. We will work to ensure you are fully compensated for your medical bills, counseling fees, loss of income, emotional distress, and pain and suffering.
- Securing a Sense of Closure: Although financial compensation is not an adequate solution for the deep damages and losses a child molestation victim goes through, it can still help achieve some sense of closure. In relation to this, even if the offender was not criminally convicted, you can still fight and win a civil lawsuit that helps you move forward.
- Bringing Abusers to Full Justice: A civil action allows you to hold the child sexual offender and their enablers accountable beyond the penalties specified in the criminal justice system. In cases of particularly egregious child sexual abuse, punitive or exemplary damages may also be awarded which sends out a strong signal to the society and helps curb future abuse.
Legal Help is Here from Respected and Proven Child Molestation Attorneys in New York
Winning New York attorney Michael S. Lamonsoff, Esq is well-known for his passionate, relentless, and no-holds barred approach to fight for the victims’ rights in child molestation and child sexual assault cases. But at the same time, he is compassionate and sensitive to the emotions of the victim and their loved ones.
Our legal team, led by attorney Michael S. Lamonsoff, will prioritize your privacy and guide and support you every step of the way until we recover rightful compensation from the defendants on your behalf. Call us at 212-962-1020 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free and confidential consultation with us today.