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New York Institutional Sexual Assault Lawyer

Institutional sexual assault occurs when the victim is sexually assaulted by someone who is in a position of power over that person. For example, a correctional officer sexually assaulting an inmate or a teacher sexually assaulting a student would be institutional sexual assault. All victims of sexual assault experience trauma that can impact mental health and their ability to report the assault. Historically, instances of institutional sexual assault have been underreported and the perpetrators unpunished. An increased popular understanding of the trauma related to sexual assault coupled with recent changes in New York law allows victims of sexual assault a new opportunity to seek justice. If you were the victim of sexual assault by a correctional officer, teacher, employer, or someone else in a position of authority, contact an experienced New York institutional sexual assault lawyer at Stephen Bilkis & Associates. With over 20 years of experience, we have the knowledge and resources to help you get the justice you deserve.

Adult Survivor Act

In addition to the emotional trauma that often accompanies sexual assault that occurs in any environment, with institutional sexual assault there may be additional barriers to reporting. Victims often fear retaliation. For example, if the victim is an inmate and the abuser a correctional officer, the victim may have a legitimate concern that prison staff would retaliate if the report the abuse. For example, there are cases where after reporting, the victim’s cell was trashed by prison staff. In another case, the prison doctor who was supposed to examine the victim, abused her during the examination. In addition, victims often feel that they will not be believed because the abuser is in a position of power. The result is that many victims delay reporting the abuse. Because of the statute of limitations, many abusers are never charged with a crime and never face civil lawsuits.

With the passing of the 2022 Adult Survivors Act, things have changed. The Adult Survivors Act allows victims whose cases of sexual abuse would have otherwise been time-barred the opportunity to file civil lawsuits against their abusers. To be eligible to initiate a lawsuit under the Adult Survivors Act, the following conditions must exist:

  • Plaintiff must have been the victim of a sex offense
  • Victim must have been at least 18 years old when the sexual abuse occurred
  • Sexual assault must be time-barred, meaning that the statute of limitations for bringing a civil lawsuit must have passed

To discuss whether you can file a lawsuit under the Adult Survivor Act, contact an experienced New York institutional sexual assault lawyer. Note that the claims period under the Adult Survivor Act is only one year, beginning on November 24, 2022 and ending on November 23, 2023.

Potential Damages

While many victims of sex crimes suffer physical injuries, they also almost always suffer emotional trauma. They are left to deal with the aftermath of the abuse which may include healing from the physical injuries and healing from the emotional injuries. Victims are often stuck with medical bills related to treatment for physical and emotional injuries. Many must cope with the depression, anxiety, shame, and suicidal thoughts.

If you are the victim of an sexual attack, contact an experienced institutional sexual assault attorney in New York. Through a civil personal injury claim against the assailant and the institution, the victim can demand compensation for the losses and suffering caused by the sexual attack. Not only will the compensation provide the victim with money to cover the medical bills and other costs associated with their recovery, it will also punish the assailant and those who protected them.

Damages through a civil lawsuit are designed to address a variety of losses, including:

  • Medical bills and expenses for physical injuries and emotional trauma
  • Psychological issues caused by the sex abuse
  • Lost wages and loss of earning capacity
  • Scars and disfigurement
  • Physical pain and suffering

In addition, the court may award punitive damages. Under New York law, punitive damages are warranted where the acts of the defendant are intentional, malicious, wanton, willful or oppressive. Punitive damages are likely to be awarded in cases of institutional sexual abuse where reports of abuse were not properly investigated, where the assailant was protected, or where the facility failed to do proper background checks.

Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates

If you or a loved one were the victim of a sexual assault or rape, you have the right to file a claim for significant compensation for the suffering you experienced. Under the law, the window to file your claim is just one year beginning on November 24, 2022 and ending on November 23, 2023. Thus, it’s important to act immediately. Contact an experienced institutional sexual assault attorney serving New York at Stephen Bilkis & Associates at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Nassau County, Suffolk County, Long Island, and Westchester County.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
When my mom, who is suffering from dementia, faced a slip and fall personal injury lawsuit, I contacted Stephen Bilkis of the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates. Not only did he provide a strategy for defending the claim, he also advised me on steps to take to avoid future personal liability. Whether you are the defendant or plaintiff in an injury case, I highly recommend Mr. Bilkis. S.M.
★★★★★
From the very first phone call to Stephen Bilkis' office, the staff was extremely polite and helpful in assisting me. Mr. Bilkis was honest and upfront with me from the beginning in what he projected the outcome of my case would be; in the end we got better results than either of us anticipated. He was very genuine and compassionate in understanding my situation and how this legal matter could effect not only myself but my family as well. I highly recommend this law firm and will most definitely continue using them for any future legal needs. Jarrett
★★★★★
I had my first encounter with Mr. Stephen Bilkis three years ago over the phone. He and his staff have been nothing but courtesy and professional. Their hard work ended with a large six-figure settlement for my case. I would highly recommend you contact his office. I want to give a special THANK YOU to Ms. Tricia Krapf. She always made me feel like a priority and was always kind and professional over the phone and email. I highly recommend them to anyone in need of legal representation. Celesta