Visitor Question

Can I sue my stepfather for abusing me as a child?

Submitted By: Nick (Riverside, CA)

My stepfather repeatedly beat me and locked me in my room as a child from the ages of 4-8 years old. I was taken out of the home twice by CPS (Child Protective Services) and now I’m starting to have memories of possible sexual abuse.

Is there anything legally I can do now to get some kind of closure to this?

I now suffer from depression, anxiety, and I have sexual and social problems. I know that the man who was dishing it out to me also was abused as a child, but I don’t know if that will effect the case. Is there anything I can do?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Nick,

If you are interested in filing a legal claim against the apparently horrid person who assaulted you so terribly, you might want to give serious consideration to consulting with a personal injury attorney.

This is certainly not a matter you could pursue on your own.

There will be many factors included in the decision making. Your age, the existence of a police report, arrest and conviction of the assaulter, and the assaulter’s assets are just some of the factors involved in the decision to pursue a civil claim against your stepfather.

If at or about the time of the aggravated sexual assault your stepfather was arrested, convicted, and sentenced to prison, you will certainly be in a position to begin the pursuit of civil justice.

The problem may be in the amount of time which has passed since the repeated felonious assaults.

If you are much past your 18th birthday you may have lost your legal opportunity to file suit against him.

Finally, if all of the pieces of the puzzle fit and you are in a position to sue him, you will have to consider whether he has assets substantial enough to take the time to sue him.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: January 10, 2012

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