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rachelc posted 4/22/2013 08:34 AM

Has anyone ever filed a civil suit against a person for sexual assault? I have a two year time limit to do this and July is the cut off. The county attorney won’t take the case – we’ve asked him twice – because there is no evidence and it would be a he said, she said kind of thing. Do we have anything to lose by proceeding?

Lucky2HaveMe posted 4/22/2013 09:28 AM

I would talk to a civil attorney first to see if he thinks the case has any merit in a civil suit. I know the preponderance of evidence (hey I watch Law & Order!) is less in a civil case, but you would still need some sort of proof and a lawyer could at least examine that to see if it merits going forward.

Good luck!

Too_Trusting posted 4/22/2013 17:27 PM

I work for a Civil Litigator, and I will tell you the things a lawyer will look for.

Were you injured?
If so, did you require medical treatment?
If so, what are your total medical bills?
Do you have any permanent injuries or disfigurement?
Any witnesses?
Any police report/investigation?

Pursuing any type of legal action costs $$. A lawyer won't file your case unless he sees a way to not only win, but also to recover his expenses and earn a fee. Running a law practice is like any other business - you have to invest $$ where you can make $$.

**Edited to add: I just realized this was a sexual assault. Missed that in my first read of your post. Sorry for my insensitivity.

Another question an attorney will ask is if the person that assaulted you has any assets from which to recover?

[This message edited by Too_Trusting at 5:33 PM, April 22nd (Monday)]

rachelc posted 4/22/2013 18:13 PM

I was not injured. There were witnesses to him coming into my room and me opening the door, thinking my friends were behind him and they ALL were coming in.
We had all been drinking.
A police report was filed.

Amazonia posted 4/22/2013 19:41 PM

First off, ((hugs)) and I'm so sorry you went through this.

How is it possible that the prosecutor said there's no evidence if you have witnesses? Something doesn't add up there.

Do you now if he's done this to other women? She + she + she said sounds a lot stronger than she said when you're up against he said (but I'm not an attorney, so that's not legal advice).

karmahappens posted 4/22/2013 19:43 PM

I was not injured

I disagree


NotDefeatedYet posted 4/22/2013 21:16 PM

What are your damages? You can win a civil suit, but if you don't have a monetary value on your damages, what do you gain? If you don't anticipate therapy later on, medical risks, or any of that stuff, then you don't have anything to request in the event you win. Think about the dollar value of how this has, and will affect you. It's a crummy way to look at it, because you will live with it forever, but a jury has to know what you want.

rachelc posted 4/23/2013 07:46 AM

I'm thinking damages would pay for my therapy, etc - $25,000 is the figure we are thinking about.
Thing is, most of my therapy has been about recovering from what my husband did. We have had a few sessions on what happened to me in the hotel room. And MC about it too.
Yep, my friends were witnesses.
I talked to a rape advocacy center and they said this guy had planned it. My IC thinks I was drugged.
I talked to an attorney yesterday and she said the case is evidence weak.
our marriage was gravely injured by this. Not sure how you put a price on this...

Amazonia posted 4/23/2013 09:32 AM

our marriage was gravely injured by this.

In some states you could file for loss of consortium as a damage. If you have evidence he planned it, also intentional infliction of emotional distress, but that's really hard to win and not available everywhere. You could also ask for punitive damages.

But you would need to talk to an attorney to see whether the evidence you have available is strong enough to actually recover any damages, and what is available in your jurisdiction, because a lot of it varies by location.

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