Sexual abuse can occur in a variety of contexts – and often at the hands of so-called trusted individuals. Although California has criminal laws on the books to punish perpetrators of sexual abuse crimes, the institutions that hire these abusers, retain them or cover up the instances of abuse, may be held civilly liable under California law.
If you are a victim of a sex crime that occurred in the State of California, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. A knowledgeable and compassionate Temecula sexual abuse lawyer will be able to meet with you about your case. Work with an experienced personal injury attorney that can help you seek civil remedies from those institutions that should be held accountable under the law.
Sexual Abuse Crimes
The most common adult crimes involving sexual abuse in California include rape, sexual battery, and sexual harassment
- Rape refers to any act of sexual intercourse that involves fraud, force, threat of violence, retaliation, or lack of legal consent. In order to be considered rape, under California law, the people involved must not have been married at the time of the occurrence
- Sexual batteries are similar to rape and involve touching the intimate body parts of another person, without consent, for the purpose of sexual arousal, gratification, or abuse. ‘Intimate body parts’ include a person’s buttocks, sexual organs, groin, anus, or female breast(s)
- Sexual harassment involves unwanted sexual attention and most often occurs in the workplace
The most common crimes of sexual abuse involving minors in California include statutory rape, which involves sexual intercourse with a minor who is under the age of eighteen at the time of the intercourse (and who is thus unable to consent to the intercourse), and lewd acts with a child (i.e. touching a child anywhere on the child’s body, including the child’s genitals or other private areas outside the clothing).
Common Contexts for Sexual Abuse
California law imposes criminal penalties upon those individuals convicted of sexual abuse crimes. However, institutions that allow this behavior to occur – or that cover it up – may be held civilly liable under the law:
- Schools, Colleges, and Universities – Students and visitors at educational institutions have a right to be safe from sexual assaults, batteries, and harassment. When a school worker, teacher, student, or third party commits a sexual assault on the school’s campus, the institution can be held civilly liable
- Healthcare Facilities – Sexual predators often prey upon those who are most susceptible to abuse because of their medical or mental health conditions. This type of abuse is most common in doctors’ offices, hospitals, and nursing homes
- Workplaces – Employers, property managers, and third parties, such as security companies or management companies, may be held civilly liable when a co-worker or employee sexually abuses someone in the workplace setting. Also, if an employer fails to take appropriate action against a co-worker who engages in sexual harassment, the employer may be held civilly liable for damages and other remedies
- Places of Worship – If a priest, minister, or rabbi sexually abuses a congregant, the church or synagogue could be held civilly liable for monetary damages in hiring or retaining the offending clergy member
Individuals who have been abused while at work, school, or in a church setting, should get in touch with a qualified Temecula sexual abuse lawyer that can fight tirelessly to hold the responsible parties accountable
Working With a Temecula Sexual Abuse Attorney
Sexual abuse is a traumatic and terrible experience, even more so when you experience that abuse in what is supposed to be a safe environment. If you have been sexually abused in the workplace, school, or church setting, you may be entitled to monetary compensation under California law. An experienced Temecula sexual abuse lawyer can advise you of your legal rights and help you recover compensation for the trauma and mental anguish you experienced.