Visitor Question

Sexual abuse of 12 year old child results in pregnancy…

Submitted By: Sara (Tucson, AZ)

I got pregnant at the age of 12 due to being raped continuously for a little over a year. I didn’t consent to sex at first, even though AZ law says any sex with a minor under the age of 14 is a mandated report to law enforcement. CPS (Child Protective Services) was called instead, by the hospital, not law enforcement and CPS didn’t report it to them either.

I lived in the hospital for two and a half months before I had my baby and when I left with her to go home is when they called CPS on me. They told me that it’s procedure when a young mother goes home with a child, especially one out of NICU (because my child was born early).

They NEVER reported suspected abuse. Meanwhile, my abuser was in prison for close to three years give or take, he got locked up right before I had my child. When he got out, he abused me for another year until I left him and never saw him again for 16 years, then he popped up on Facebook and my child, who knows nothing about my past, contacted him.

I’ve been suffering with extreme PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) ever since, and filed a police report myself because I learned about my civil rights through the internet. I’d like to know how much I can sue for.

I’ve been poor all my life and have been on government programs. I haven’t worked much due to the complexities of my mental and emotional issues and the fact that I couldn’t when I was so young. I don’t know what else I could sue for besides emotional distress or mental anguish. I just need to do something. What are some options for me? Thank you for any information you can give.

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.


Dear Sara,

The circumstances surrounding your abuse are alarming. All sexual abuse cases should be immediately referred to local law enforcement agencies. The delay reporting your case is unfortunate. There was no excuse for delaying the reporting of the events surrounding the sexual abuse you suffered.

From the facts you present your only legal claim would have been against the man who abused you.

The evidence you present doesn’t appear to justify a civil action against either law enforcement or Child Protective Services (CPS).

Unfortunately, in the State of Arizona there is a statute of limitations for sexual abuse claims which occurred prior to 1997. Statute of limitations is the time period in which a person or law enforcement agency can file a sexual abuse claim.

That limitations period is seven (7) years from the date the abuse occurred. In your case it appears the limitations period has expired against the man who abused you.

Learn more here: Child Abuse & Restitution

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,


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