Visitor Question

Sister’s ex-boyfriend physically and sexually abused my nephew…

Submitted By: Rachel (Buford, GA)

I’m wondering if there is anything I can do for my nephew. My sister ran away with a very violent man and at the time my nephew was 1.5 years old. When they moved they ended up homeless and then lived in FL for a year or two. During that time, my nephew was being sexually and physically abused by her boyfriend.

When they moved back home to live with my mom, the man was exhibiting several violent behaviors, however, nothing was done. They finally broke up and my nephew started having symptoms of PTSD and absence seizures. When he was taken to be evaluated he was diagnosed with PTSD and in the process he shared some of the things that were done to him.

According to the therapist, he was so traumatized that he had seizures because he couldn’t process the horrible things that were done to him. It’s now been a year and a half since this, but I would like to get justice for my nephew. I want the man behind bars. Is there anything I can do if my sister didn’t press charges against him?

It’s my opinion that my sister knew the abuse was going on and pretended to not know and has not pressed charges because she doesn’t want to be implicated in the process. At this point I don’t care who goes down as long as my nephew gets justice. I don’t want to sit around and let time go by without getting anything done for him. What can I do? Thank you!

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 Rachel,

The criminal statute of limitations for child sexual abuse in the State of Georgia is five (5) years. Read more about the Georgia child sexual abuse law here.

There is no the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse in the State of Florida. Read more the Florida child sexual abuse SOL here.

Contact the police in the city and state in which you believe the sexual abuse took place. Ask them to initiate an investigation into the matter. If they find credible evidence child sexual abuse took place, they will likely arrest the perpetrator.

If there is proof your sister aided and abetted the perpetrator, or stood by and did nothing while the sexual abuse took place, she may be liable under the felony rule.

The felony rule in all 50 states, albeit referred to by different terms, holds that those involved in a felony, even in an peripheral way, may be held equally liable for the crime committed by the main perpetrator.

Moreover, if the boyfriend has assets – and from the facts you present, that is unlikely – your nephew’s parents have the right to sue him for damages including psychiatric care, medications, the parents’ lost wages (if they had to miss work to care for the child), and for the boy’s emotional distress and mental anguish.

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 27, 2016

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