Month: October 2012

Attorney for Victims of Child Molestation

If you or your child is a victim of child molestation, you can hold the abuser liable. We understand that these cases are emotional and complicated. For this reason, we will take this burden off your shoulders and handle your case from start to finish.

The attorneys at Edwards Pottinger LLC have spent years fighting for the rights of child molestation victims and will do whatever possible to hold your or your child’s abuser accountable.

To schedule a free consultation with an attorney for victims of child molestation, call 954-524-2820.

Building a Case Against Your Child’s Attacker

While all sexual abuse claims are challenging, ones involving children are particularly difficult due to the young age of the victim. Many victims are too young to process what happened and are unable to describe the events that took place.

Some abusers groom victims for many months prior to the abuse to create an emotional attachment. These victims may be reluctant to “get them in trouble” for what happened. Our lawyers will tread carefully when dealing with such sensitive matters and protect your child throughout the process.

If you choose to file a lawsuit against the person that molested your child or other parties that may have played a role in what happened (e.g., property owners for negligent security, day cares for negligent hiring), be aware of the statute of limitations for sexual assault cases in your state. While some states do not have a statute of limitations for molestation cases, some states require you to file your suit within a few years after the incident or soon after the child turns 18 or 21.

The first step to proving child molestation is collecting as much evidence as possible. According to 28 C.F.R. 549.93, child molestation is defined as any unlawful sexual conduct or sexual exploitation of someone under 18. This conduct may include, but is not limited to the following acts:

  • Exposing one’s genitalia to a child
  • Forcing a child to engage in sexual activity with the molester or other children
  • Fondling
  • Rape (penetration of any kind)
  • Taking pornographic photos of a child

Children may be molested by strangers, but they are more likely to face abuse from someone they know, like a family friend or family member. Sexual abuse of a child can occur anywhere including:

  • Boy Scouts (by troop leaders or fellow scouts)
  • Church (by pastors, ushers, or other church officials)
  • Foster care (by foster parents, foster siblings, or supervisors)
  • Daycare (by owners, supervisors, or day care providers)
  • School (by teachers, principals, assistants, coaches, counselors, or older children)

What evidence will we need to prove molestation?

Proving molestation will require us to collect as much of the following types of evidence as possible:

Admissions from the perpetrator: Some abusers confess their crimes to the victim, friends, witnesses, and other parties. We will attempt to obtain text messages or recordings documenting these admissions. If none are available, we will talk to people who have heard these statements and ask them to testify to that.

Any documentation establishing the relationship or abuse: Many perpetrators spend months grooming their victims and building a relationship before beginning the abuse. We may be able to find documentation of this relationship through messages, social media, and emails.

Some perpetrators may purchase gifts for their victims, take them on trips, or give them money. Evidence of this spending may serve as circumstantial evidence showing that the molester was trying to buy the child’s affection or keep him/her from telling anyone. In some cases, perpetrators may keep track of the abuse with graphic photographs and videos. This information can be greatly useful in court to prove that the abuse occurred.

Medical records: Children who have been molested should seek treatment from a medical professional as soon as possible after the incident. In addition to taking care of any potential health issues, the medical records from the post-molestation exam can be a critical part of our case.

DNA evidence: Any DNA evidence linking the molester to the child is extremely useful in court. Doctors should collect and test any bodily fluids, blood, or skin cells found on the child.

What Damages Can My Child Recover?

Courts tend to award significant amounts of damages for molestation cases due to the severe physical and psychological trauma that goes along with the abuse. Molested children often require multiple medical visits and years of therapy to deal with the anxiety, depression, and other issues that stem from sexual abuse.

The damages awarded will cover medical expenses, therapy costs, pain and suffering, and other economic and noneconomic costs.

Get Help Today

Child molestation is a horrific crime with serious legal ramifications. Jail time and criminal penalties are often not enough. You can, and should, hold those guilty of child molestation financially responsible for their crimes.

The attorneys at Edwards Pottinger LLC understand how painful these situations are for victims and their families. We will manage your case, and remain patient and compassionate throughout the legal process. While we are managing the lawsuit itself, you can focus on taking care of the victim and making sure that s/he is getting the support s/he needs from medical professionals, counselors, and family members.

Call us today at 954-524-2820.