Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentLaw & Ethics · 8 years ago

I want to file a civil suit against my sexual abuser?

Hello, I am a child sex abuse surviver, my abuser plead guilty with in minutes of the time my trial by jury was due to start, due to new evidence against him. He and his lawyer drug the process out for over a year, I had to show up to court to testify 3 times and he always got a continuances for some dumb reason, during this time I was pregnant with my husbands child, not my abusers, i had a complicated pregnancy but was still forced to travel over 3 hours each way to testify. He said i was lying the whole time untill the DA got ahold of a bunch of creepy emails of him talking about what happened. then he admitted what happened and said he was "sorry" to the judge (that was BS). he forced me to have an abortion when I was 15 and he was 43 when he got me pregnant after repetedly sexually abusing me, (I didn't want to, I was scared) He admitted to this on record and I have the planned parenthood file. I want to file a civil suit but I don't know if it is more hassle than it is worth and I don't have a lot of money for a lawyer I don't know what to do, is there a lawyer out there that would help me and take part of the settlement as payment, or small payments from me along the way, i don't want to do it alone, please help! I am 20 years old and in college full time and my husband and I have a 1 year old so i don't have a lot of money, im not sure what to do, I don't feel like I got any "justice" with the criminal courts.


That's the thing thou he never went to jail! He got what is call a deferred judgment, he is on probation for 3 years, he has to do sex offender treatment, and register as a sex offender while he is on probation. As soon as he is done he doesn't even have to register anymore! WTF!!! at first I only filed charges because I felt if I didn't I would be just as responsible as he would be if it happened to another young girl, and I didn't even accomplish that! It sucks, I put myself through HELL trying to do the right thing, and now I am trying t think of myself. So basically he gets to go on with his life and I, get to have nightmares about my daed baby. I can't even have sex with my husband sometimes w/o thinking about him. I just want to feel like he has to pay too, instead of just me. :.(

Update 2:

Wow thanks for being a jerk! I opened this account today because I needed a yahoo account to post a question and I only had Gmail, if you don't have anything nice to say then don't say anything, it is not easy to talk about these things, even when it's anonymous.

Update 3:

Yes you are right I am sorry, I jumped to conclusions after reading your first sentence, I am just being really sensitive this is extremely awkward for me, and I didn't want to see what else you said because I thought you were being mean. this is my first time on here and I am uncomfortable. my apologies.

Update 4:

I would be fine, I expect his lawyer to be ridiculous, and try to degrade my character, I just thought this would be a friendlier environment (not implying that it is not friendlier, as I said I jumped to conclusions earlier) so obviously my guard is down at the moment and I am unprepared for ridicule. That is nit the point however, I am not worried about my abilities to handle a civil suit.

4 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    I have a sense you may be a troll, considering you opened this account just today, but your details tend to have the ring of a real situation so I'll treat this as a legitimate question.

    When considering filing a civil action you need to try to figure out what you are hoping to accomplish. If "justice" is your goal, then you are likely going to end up being very, very disappointed and candidly your time, effort and energy would probably be better served by getting counseling and moving forward with your life.

    You say that you don't have a lot of money. But does HE have any money? If he had a public defender, then chances are pretty good that he doesn't have any assets worth suing over. And if he doesn't have any assets, you are not going to be able to find an attorney to represent you on a contingency basis. (And civil litigation would EASILY cost you $15,000 to $20,000 if you tried to pay for it yourself . . . with no guarantee you would ever get a penny from him.)

    Another thing you have to remember is that a civil action brought be the victim can get really nasty toward the victim. There are rape shield laws that protect the victim in criminal court. This absolutely does not apply in civil court. Every single aspect of the abuse, every single facet of your life (then and now) becomes fair game. I have had clients who have expressed regret over filing lawsuits involving (legitimate) medical malpractice cases because the discovery process is so intrusive. I can only imagine how ugly this gets in sexual abuse cases.

    The best revenge is to live well. "Closure" and "justice" are subjective terms that don't really mean much. It is a bit of a waste to focus on subjective things you have no control over.

    EDIT: I'm not sure where you get off thinking I was a jerk. I answered your question in a clear and factual manner. That I voiced my suspicion you may not be on the up and up is my personal opinion - something I am entitled to and something I stated in dispassionate and fact based manner. As far as not having anything nice to say? Sweet pea, you asked for a legal opinion. You didn't ask for someone to give you the equivalent of warm fuzzies. And if you are looking for warm fuzzies this is the wrong section.

    But candidly, if my impersonal and fact based answer popped your blood pressure up to the degree you resort to some rather childish name calling then I would refer you back to the paragraph in which I described how difficult the process is on the plaintiff. If you can't handle a perfect stranger who you do not know and will never know spending half of a sentence questioning your legitimacy then there is absolutely no way you could handle a civil law suit. Any minimally competent defense attorney would rip you to shreds without breaking a sweat. If you think you put yourself through "HELL" trying to get him criminally prosecuted and you are contemplating filing a civil action, you have absolutely no idea what hell will really be.

  • Kyle
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    I agree with lawmom. If you can't handle a fairly innocuous comment without resorting to name calling, you have no hope of even surviving a civil suit.

    Therapy is the better option for you. No responsible attorney would take you on as a client - even assuming this guy isn't judgment proof - because you don't seem as though you would be able to survive the process.

  • 8 years ago

    It would be more of a hassle, plus if he's in jail then your not getting much if anything. From a contingency fee standpoint their is a lot of risk of no payout ....lawyers will place their time on more sure cases. That would be such a long & hard case.

  • 8 years ago

    If your abuser serves any time at all

    as a sexual predator, he will be abused

    by the other inmates, maybe that could be considered

    "justice" ....

    U really must simply make peace with yourself about

    this and move on. its difficult and takes time but work on it.


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