New York Police Sexual Abuse Lawyer
Sexual abuse by police officers does occur. While most police officers do what they sworn to do—serve and protect, some police officers abuse their authority by sexually abusing civilians. Why some are brought to justice, far more are not. There are some estimates that thousands of cases of sexual abuse by police officers go unreported each year. Given the discrepancy in power of police officers versus civilians, it can be difficult for victims of sexual abuse to report the police for sexual assault. However, the tide is turning. More victims are coming forward and more are being listened to. With the new Adult Survivors Act, cases where the abuse occurred years are being heard. If you were sexual abused by a police officer, contact an experienced New York police sexual abuse lawyer at Stephen Bilkis & Associates. With over 20 years of experience successfully representing victims, we can help you pursue compensation for the abuse you suffered.Sexual Abuse by Police
Sexual abuse by police can happen in the course of a traffic stop, during an investigation of a crime, or when a suspect is in custody. There have even been instances in which police sexual abused victims of other crimes. Examples of scenarios where police have used their power to sexually abuse victims include:
- Asking for a sexual favor in exchange for not issuing a ticket or ignoring criminal activity
- Sexually abusing an individual in handcuffs
- Taking advantage of victim of crimes by initiating sexual contact
- Sexually assault individual during a traffic stop or during an arrest
- A corrections officer or prison official sexually assaulting an inmate
- Making lewd comments to a suspect, witness, or crime victim
Police who sexually abuse individuals should be criminally prosecuted. However, even if they are not criminally charged, they can still be sued in civil court in a personal jury lawsuit. Historically, there have been barriers to inmates who were sexually abused by correctional officers receiving justice through civil claims.
- Victims are traumatized. In some cases they are unable to report the abuse for years after it happened. Sexual abuse can take a long time to process.
- Victims fear retaliation. There have been cases were the cells of inmates who report abuse were searched and trashed. There have even been instances where the sexually abuse increased after it was reported.
- Victims are not believed. Victims are often discredited solely because of their status of being inmates.
With the 2022 Adult Survivors Act, victims get a second change to pursue justice. The law applies to cases of sexual abuse where the statute of limitations has expired. Signed on May 24, 2022, the law provides for a one year window during which victims can file civil lawsuits against their abusers. The window opens on November 24, 2022 and closes on November 23, 2023. If you or someone you know was abused by a correctional officer, immediately contact an experienced New York correctional officer sexual abuse lawyer. If you wait too long, you may miss the deadline and you will forever barred from being able to recover compensation.Compensation for Adult Survivors of Sexual Abuse
Although sex offenses are crimes prohibited by N.Y. Pen. Law § 130 et seq., victims can pursue civil lawsuits regardless of whether the perpetrators were criminally prosecuted. Victims can demand compensation from not only the abuser, but also anyone who protected the abuser. In fact, many victims sue the Department of Corrections and many prison officials based on a theory that they knew or should have known about the abuse.
While compensation may be awarded for physical injuries, substantial compensation tends to be awarded for the following:
- The emotional trauma of the sexual abuse and the painful, long-term memory of it
- Physical scars left from the abuse
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
In addition, because of the heinous nature of correctional officer sexually assaulting an inmate, the victim may be awarded a substantial sum for punitive damages. To learn more about the compensation to which you might be entitled, discuss your case with an experienced correctional officer sexual abuse attorney in New York.Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates
If you were sexually abused by a police officer, you have the right to file a civil lawsuit against the officer and demand monetary damages for your suffering. Under the law, the window to file your claim against your abuser is just one year beginning on November 24, 2022 and ending on November 23, 2023. Contact an experienced police sexual abuse 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 the Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Nassau County, Suffolk County, Long Island, and Westchester County.