Improper touching or grouping is considered sexual abuse in Missouri. Unfortunately, individuals may experience improper touching or groping at any time in any place in Southern Missouri. If you are a survivor of improper touching, groping, or sexual assault in Southern Missouri, schedule an appointment with the Privette Law Office today so we can discuss your options for seeking justice.
What are improper touching and groping?
According to Missouri criminal law, sexual abuse is a crime that occurs when an individual subjects another person to sexual contact either without that person’s consent, by force, or when the person is not able to consent. Sexual contact includes touching a person’s genitals, anus, or a female’s breast or touching a person with genitals “for the purpose of arousing or gratifying the sexual desire of any person or for the purpose of terrorizing the victim.” Fondling, groping, and improper touching of a sexual nature are considered sexual abuse.
Unfortunately, you can experience sexual assault at any place or time, including the following:
- Businesses such as hotels, nightclubs, or bars
- Religious institutions
- Nursing homes
Why should you seek legal assistance after being improperly touched or groped?
If you report your sexual abuse to the police, they will investigate what happened. If the criminal case proceeds, the prosecutor will present the case in a criminal court, and the judge or jury will decide if the perpetrator is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. After a judge or jury finds an individual guilty of sexual abuse, the person may have to pay fines or spend time in jail.
A successful criminal case may end with the perpetrator having to account for their actions. But where does that leave you? If you have medical bills, lost income, or lost a job because of sexual assault, the goal of the criminal justice system is not to compensate you for the effects of the abuse.
The civil court system does seek to compensate you. You can pursue a civil lawsuit even if a criminal case does not move forward or is unsuccessful. Privette Law Office can file a civil lawsuit against the perpetrator and any institutions that may have contributed to you suffering sexual abuse. Through the civil case, we seek justice and compensation for injuries you suffered, ongoing care you may need, and lost income or wages. In especially egregious cases, we can also seek punitive damages against the perpetrator and the institutions that allowed the sexual abuse to occur.
How does Privette Law Office assist you in a civil lawsuit?
If you choose Privette Law Office, we will begin by investigating your case and gathering evidence. We will investigate other institutions that may also be responsible for your sexual abuse to identify who should be a defendant in the lawsuit. In addition, we will determine the appropriate claims for your case.
Privette Law Office will ensure we file your lawsuit in a timely manner for the claims—which may mean we have two or five years from the date of the abuse to file the lawsuit. Once we file the lawsuit, the sexual abuse attorney will work to negotiate with the other parties to the case for a settlement.
Finally, if we cannot settle, we will prepare and present your case in a civil court. We will develop a trial strategy to prove the sexual abuse occurred and the effects of the abuse. And the jury will decide if we have established that the abuse and injuries occurred.
Who may be liable for the sexual abuse?
In a sexual abuse civil case, the perpetrator is one of the individuals we name as a defendant in a lawsuit. Other defendants we may include will vary depending on where the sexual abuse occurred, who knew or should have known about it, and what the other people did about it. With civil lawsuits, we can seek justice not just from the person who caused us harm but also from anyone who allowed it to happen or continue. As part of the investigation of your sexual abuse, the sexual abuse attorney will identify the institutions that may have contributed to the sexual abuse.
How much money will I recover?
The amount of money you could win in a civil lawsuit will vary according to several factors, including the following:
- The extent of your injuries and emotional distress – If the sexual abuse resulted in physical or psychological injuries, the extent of your injuries will affect the compensation you recover.
- The medical treatment you had or will need in the future – If you need ongoing care to address the impact of the sexual abuse, the compensation we request will need to account for the cost.
- The amount of wages or income you lost – If the sexual abuse resulted in you losing a job, promotion, wages, or income, the amount we request will reflect those losses.
Contact the Southern Missouri Sexual Abuse Attorney Today at Privette Law Office
The sexual abuse attorney of Privette Law Office understands that being a victim of sexual abuse is an awful experience. If the sexual abuse happens where you live, work, or frequently, it can also significantly impact how you recover from the abuse. Rely on the experienced sexual assault attorney at Privette Law Office to help you determine if a civil lawsuit is the best way to proceed. Contact Privette Law Office today to schedule a free consultation with our Southern Missouri sexual abuse attorney.