If you were sexually abused as a child, the best way to protect your rights is to speak with an experienced child sexual abuse attorney. Because victims of sexual abuse often delay disclosure until legal remedies are no longher available, California lawmakers enacted Assembly Bill 218 last year, which goes into effect on January 1, 2020. The new law gives survivors who may not have previously disclosed being victimized another opportunity to pursue their claims by extending the statute of limitations.
Located in Los Angeles, Paul Mones represents victims of sexual abuse in California, as well as across the nation through a network of co-counsel attorneys. Paul has a well-earned reputation for being a dedicated advocate of sexual abuse victims and for holding responsible individuals and organizations accountable. When you become his client, you can rest assured that he will handle your case with care.
How Does AB 218 Protect Victims of Child Sexual Abuse in California?
The new law makes significant changes to the requirements for pursuing civil claims of child sexual abuse, including:
- Expanded definition of abuse — The new measure expands the definition of child sexual abuse to include sexual assault, which covers crimes that were not previously considered sexual abuse.
- Statute of Limitations extended — Previously, the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse claims was 8 years after the age of majority or 3 years after the victim discovered, or reasonably should have discovered, psychological harm caused by the abuse. Because sexual abuse victims often delay disclosure for years (if not decades), the applicable time periods have been extended to 22 years after the age of majority or 5 years after discovery of the childhood sexual assault, whichever is later. This means that survivors have up until the age of 40 to file a claim and extending the date of discovery gives victims additional time to do so.
- Revival of previously barred claims — Given that some child sexual abuse cases may still fall outside of the expanded statute of limitations, the new law creates a three-year window to submit claims that were barred by the previous time limits. This provides anyone who has previously been unable to file a claim with a new opportunity to seek compensation.
- Treble damages — Because of credible evidence that certain institutions (e.g. The Catholic Church, the Boy Scouts of America) covered up the sexual abuse of minors, the new law allows victims to recover treble damages against defendants that have covered up child sexual abuse.
In sum, the new law is in response to widespread reports of child sexual abuse by perpetrators in a variety of institutions that are supposed to be guardians of our children. If you have been denied the opportunity to pursue a claim because of prior time limitations, it will take a skilled child sexual abuse attorney to enforce your rights under the new law.
How Paul Mones Can Help
While the expanded protections under AB 218 will allow many more victims of child sexual abuse to pursue claims, the best way to protect your rights is to work with the right attorney. Building a strong case against an abuser can be difficult if the abuse occurred years ago: gathering evidence, identifying and interviewing witnesses — including the perpetrator and other potential victims — and demonstrating the defendant’s liability are important steps that can only be taken by an attorney who has been in the trenches.
Paul brings to bear 35 years of experience successfully trying child sexual abuse cases nationwide and a proven track record of achieving successful outcomes, having recovered millions of dollars in damages on behalf of sexual abuse victims. This includes multimillion dollar jury verdicts against institutions such as the Catholic Church and the Boy Scouts of America.
In so doing, he has shined a light on how many well-known organizations have turned a blind eye toward child molesters in their ranks. Paul believes such conduct is unconscionable, which is why he devotes his practice to fighting for the rights of survivors of child sexual abuse, including:
- Boy Scout abuse
- Religious institutions abuse
- Public and private school abuse
- Youth sports/programs abuse
If you or a loved one has been sexually abused by a Scoutmaster, priest, rabbi, or another member of the clergy, teacher, coach, youth leader or anyone in a position of authority, you have a right to fair and just compensation. You also deserve to be treated with dignity and respect for surviving such a painful ordeal and having the strength and courage to come forward.
With Paul Mones as your dedicated advocate and ally, you will be armed with powerful representation to confront your abuser. Above all, Paul will fight to protect your rights, preserve your privacy, and help you find justice. Please contact Paul Mones today to discuss your matter in confidence.