Written By: Robert King, Esq.
Legal Review By: Sandy Fazili, Esq.
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Rochester Child Victims Act Attorneys

Helping Survivors Seek Justice

Unfortunately, sexual abuse is common – although the exact numbers are unknown because of underreporting. Victims often suffer emotional pain for years as a result of the violation. Although money can never make up for the suffering a survivor goes through, those who were subject to sexual abuse can file a lawsuit to hold their attacker financially accountable for damages.

If you or a loved one was the victim of child sexual abuse, our compassionate attorneys at King Law are ready to offer the dedicated and skilled representation you need to get the justice you deserve. We understand the sensitive and emotional nature of these types of cases, and we will be on your side throughout your case, fighting to recover just compensation.

Our Experience with Sexual Abuse Cases

Both Mr. King and Mr. Colevecchia began their career as prosecutors in the Special Victim’s Unit of the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office. In that unit, they were trained to seek justice for the most vulnerable victims, including children who were sexually abused. They are both ChildFirst® certified forensic interviewers, the leading certification in the field. Most of all they have extensive experience interacting with victims of crimes. The premise of ChildFirst® training is to do what is best for the child, in all circumstances. Sometimes a child-first approach requires an aggressive stance in the courtroom. Other times it means striking a favorable settlement to avoid the stresses of court altogether. Our experiences also including working alongside counselors, victim advocates, and private investigators to provide victims with the best experience possible. King Law takes serious civil cases involving those who were sexually abused due to the negligence or willful acts of institutions. Our cases have included suing jails that allowed deputies to sexually abuse inmates and most recently centered around churches that allowed children to be sexually abused.

Discuss your case during a confidential evaluation by calling us at (585) 270-8882.

What Is Child Sexual Abuse?

Sexual abuse occurs when a person forces another individual to engage in unwanted sexual conduct. Such acts could include intercourse, as well as kissing, touching, or other contact of a sexual nature that the other person did not consent to. In cases involving a person under 17 years of age, even if the minor gave permission, the act could be considered unlawful, as they were not legally old enough to give consent.

Sadly, child sexual abuse isn’t committed only by people the victim didn’t know.

This offense could also be perpetrated by others with whom the child had a relationship, including:

Camp counselors
Church clergy or religious officials
Family members
Friends or neighbors
Teachers, coaches, or other school employees
Youth organization instructors

The Child Victims Act – Filing a Sexual Abuse Lawsuit

On February 14, 2019, Governor Andrew Cuomo approved a bill that extends the statute of limitations – the deadline for pursuing civil action – for sexual abuse cases. Before this new law, generally, a victim had within 5 years of their 18th birthday to initiate a lawsuit against their abuser and whomever else might have been responsible. Now, victims filing new claims and those who filed before but had their cases dismissed because the statute of limitations had passed will have their day in court.

The new statute allows claims to be filed until the survivor is 55 years of age.

Additionally, if an individual’s claim was barred under the old statute of limitations, the new law opens a 1-year “window of justice.” That means, beginning August 14, 2019, anyone, regardless of age, can come forward with a child sexual abuse lawsuit to seek justice in civil court.

Unfortunately, not all instances of sexual abuse are reported right away, and sadly, some don’t get reported at all.

Reasons children might not report sexual abuse include, but are not limited to:

Fearing retribution
Blaming themselves
Not understanding the situation
Wanting to protect the abuser
Not wanting to damage the perpetrator’s reputation (if they have a trusted or respected role in the community)

Often, it takes years for a person to come to terms with what happened to them, and with the previous short statute of limitations, when victims were ready to pursue a claim, they had missed the opportunity to do so. The Child Victims Act is significant because it allows people who might not have been able to talk about their experiences until later in life take legal action against their abuser.

Call Our Firm for Experienced Legal Representation

At King Law, our Rochester lawyers understand the emotionally charged nature of child sexual abuse cases. That is why we will sit down with you to listen to your circumstances and build a legal strategy focused on holding your abuser liable and seeking fair compensation.

We’re here to answer your questions and discuss your legal options. Call us at (585) 270-8882 or contact us online.


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