Victims of sex abuse can file a lawsuit against the perpetrator in civil court. Sexual assault incidence can be criminally prosecuted as well. Which will result in jail time, fines, probation, and other sanctions against the defendant if a conviction is obtained in the latter.
You may have a better chance for success in your civil lawsuit if the defendant was convicted in a criminal prosecution. With the help of a complex legal rule known as “collateral estoppel” you can bring in evidence that a jury in a criminal case has already found the defendant guilty of committing the abuse.
Even if the defendant was not convicted in a criminal prosecution, the victim in the civil case can show that the defendant is responsible for committing the alleged abuse. The standard of proof is lower in a civil case, compared with what must be proven in criminal court. In order to find the defendant civilly responsible for abuse, the plaintiff only needs to show that it is more likely than not that the defendant committed the alleged wrongful act.
In some cases, you can sue another party in addition to the perpetrator of the assault. For example, if the incident occurred at a place of business, school, or other institution, the perpetrator’s employer could also be liable based on a negligent supervision claim or a failure to provide adequate security.
If you want to be monetarily compensated, you will have to file for a civil lawsuit. This is usually the only way that a sexual assault victim can get monetary compensation for harm suffered. Compensation for all sex abuse cases come from the physical and emotional harm suffered and will continue to suffer, as a result of the abuse. Sex abuse being an outrageous and gross crime a jury will often award very high damages. But if the defendant is not particularly wealthy, it may be very difficult or almost impossible to collect. Most liability insurance policies exclude coverage for intentional acts, so the only source of compensation is usually the perpetrator’s personal assets.