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Frequently Asked Questions About Sexual Abuse and Assault Cases

Below are answers to common questions about sexual abuse and assault cases. These answers are for informational purposes only. Sometimes, exceptions apply. Please rely on your own attorney to determine whether an exception applies to your case. Only by consulting an experienced sexual abuse lawyer can you be sure your rights are fully protected.

Should I contact a lawyer if I have been sexually assaulted or abused?

If you or your loved one is in danger, call 9-1-1 immediately and get to safety. After you are safe, contact a lawyer experienced with sexual abuse and assault cases. Taking this action can help you seek justice and compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and more. It can also prevent a similar situation from happening to you or someone else in the future.

I’m afraid to come forward against my assailant because of what might happen. How can an attorney protect me?

There are many actions your attorney can take on your behalf, depending on the particular facts of your case. These actions may include:

  • Making sure the proper authorities are notified of the offense,
  • Referring you to available resources to assist you,
  • Obtaining restraining orders,
  • Providing emotional support,
  • Educating you on the process ahead, and
  • Possibly filing suit to recover financial compensation with your name confidential so you avoid embarrassment in the community.

Communications with attorneys are confidential and privileged.  At CaseyGerry, we provide free consultations and can advise you on your rights against retaliation and adverse consequences from coming forward.  Oftentimes, the only way to protect yourself and others is to come forward. Because every case is fact-specific, we encourage you to reach out to an attorney immediately and rely on that attorney for advice and any options that you may have.

Who might be a defendant in a civil sexual abuse case?

In a civil sexual abuse case, the assailants would be the defendants. In addition, any parties who owed you a duty and should have foreseen the unlawful sexual conduct may also be defendants. Potential responsibility may be shared by an employer, the owner of the premises where it took place, persons who owed a duty to you to detect and prevent criminal conduct, or even others who encouraged or aided in the contact.

Can I have both a criminal and a civil sexual abuse case or just a civil case?

Civil law is separate from criminal law. Depending on your individual situation, you may be able to file both a criminal lawsuit and a civil lawsuit against those responsible for the abuse. Contacting an attorney can begin the discussion about moving forward with legal action.

What can I expect during my initial consultation with an attorney from CaseyGerry?

You can expect a confidential, empathetic consultation with an experienced California sexual abuse attorney who will explain your rights and obligations, help you sort out your course of action, and explain the procedure and what may lie ahead. The attorney will match available resources in the community with your needs and promptly begin an investigation to preserve the evidence you will need to protect your claim. The consultation is free of charge and requires no commitment from you. All cases are handled on a contingent fee basis, meaning, if there is no recovery, there is no fee.

CaseyGerry is San Diego’s oldest and most experienced personal injury law firm. Our attorneys put clients’ health and best interests first as we work to get full and fair compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and more.

If you or a loved one is being or has been sexually assaulted, abused, or harassed, we can explain your rights and your options. We welcome you to contact the firm at (619) 238-1811 to schedule a free consultation.

What should I do if I believe I have been drugged and sexually assaulted?

  • Contact 9-1-1 immediately.
  • DO NOT SHOWER or go swimming.
  • Report the crime. The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) offers a hotline and resources for reporting here.
  • Preserve all clothing, belongings, or materials that were present when you believe you were drugged and assaulted.  These items may serve as evidence later.
  • Preserve all clothing or materials that you wore directly after or in the days following the assault.  These items may serve as evidence later.
  • Contact the Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) right away. There is a 72-hour window for testing to be effective. SART will provide comprehensive care and conduct a forensic exam. These professionals may provide expert testimony if you file a lawsuit.

How can I identify a serial drug rapist?  

Classic signs of serial drug rapists can include behavior such as:

  1. Offering numerous shots of alcohol or drinks to the victim,
  2. Keeping a close eye on or paying close attention to the victim while in a large group,
  3. Claiming “dibs” or possessory rights of the victim,
  4. Pretending to be the hero/Good Samaritan that is going to help the person get home or away,
  5. Taking action to get the victim away from others,
  6. Telling the victim “nothing happened” the next morning,
  7. Trying to keep the victim in his/her company for a prolonged period after so that the drug will no longer be detectible, and
  8. Asking the victim to shower or go to the pool or hot tub.

Working with another rapist or sharing hotel rooms or other shared spaces with co-conspirators is not uncommon for serial drug rapists.

What types of drugs are used for drug-related rape?

More than 50 drugs have been utilized in causing mental or physical impairment that renders a victim unable to consent to sex or sexual acts.  Common drugs include gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB), benzodiazepines, barbiturates, opiates, tranquilizers, sleeping pills, LSD, MDMA, and diphenhydramine.

An experienced California sexual abuse lawyer can review your individual situation and help you move forward with legal action. You can reach CaseyGerry at (619) 238-1811.

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