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  1. #1

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    Child Sexual Abuse/Sodomy. Can I still sue?

    Jurisdiction / State: New Jersey

    18 years ago, I attended a boarding high school in NJ. I was 14 at the time. Over a period of 1.5 years I was molested, sexually abused and sodomized repeatedly by a dorm counselor. 1.5 years later when I was working as waiter in a restaurant for small parties and saw this person. I had asked the boss to switch me to different party as I was frightened of being face to face with the dorm counselor who was attending the party. Half a year later I also related the events to a social worker I was seeing. After the events I could not longer perform sexually and required constant prescriptions to be to have any kind of sex. It made me prone to looking at child nudity. I have been diagnosed as having gender dysphoria and thankfully the hormones removed all interest in sex and so I no longer have those images plagueing me constantly daily. This person stole my innocence, and caused sever psychological trauma physical harm, that I am only now coming to understand just how deep it goes. Can I still sue this person and make sure they get what they deserved as well as recover something for what i've lost?


  2. Registered User Distinguished Colleague

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    No. In New Jersey the statute of limitations for personal injury is 2 years. There are other parts of the law that have different time frames, but 18 years later is way too late to do anything.

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    tpajet,

    You're wrong. Sorry. Think of what happened with the various Priest/Abuse scandals. Etc.

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    To go back 18 years??? Where does it state in NJ law that this would still be an open case?

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    TheLaw Supreme Court Justice Learned Colleague

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    Also, statute of limitations may vary in civil cases. There are some that go back to the incident, but also sometimes they go back to the memory of the event.

    Tpajet, the poster is asking about CIVIL damages. The poster is also asking about Rape.

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    I just went back and looked, and I do stand corrected. I was looking under civil limits. Criminally there is no statute of limitations in NJ for aggrivated sexual assult, and I do believe this would definatly qualify. So the OP could still go after him for criminal charges. For civil charges, I'm not sure if they would still apply this or not.

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    TheLaw Supreme Court Justice Learned Colleague

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    It takes a good person to go back and re-research, etc. Your advice is normally dead-on tpajet. I look forward to reading more of it in the future.

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    I read about a case where they argued that the statute of limitations didn't run out on the civil case, due to the realization of the crime is not complete until the full impact is recognized. Any thoughts? And to tpajet, my thoughts agree with yours as to your argument of comparison to the Priests/Abuse Scandals for which cases refer to events 35 years past. Further I found another area that suggests that the school itself may be held liable as the dorm counselor is employed by the school and therefore a member of the faculty for which the school is reponsible. The school has some kind of guardianship of the children and is held accountable for the welfare of the children and their failure to prevent this from reocurring or recognizing that it was ocurring sets them at fault.

    Thank you,
    Hayley R.

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    TheLaw Supreme Court Justice Learned Colleague

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    due to the realization of the crime is not complete until the full impact is recognized
    Exactly.

    I'm not sure what the school immunity is. It's something to explore.

    Time to get yourself an attorney.

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    Quote Originally Posted by raskalnikov View Post
    Time to get yourself an attorney.
    Do you think it would be hard to find an attorney that would be willing to take the case, where they take their fee from a %of monetary damages? As we dont have much to sue with.

    Thanks,
    Hayley R.

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    TheLaw Supreme Court Justice Learned Colleague

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    Hilah,

    You won't know until you ask around. At the least, make sure the initial consultation doesn't cost anything.

    Not all attorneys will simply do 1/3 of winnings. Most will do 1/3 of winnings plus fee, some, if you lose, will still charge you for court costs, which can be quite a bit.

    But, this seems to me to be something you should do. Otherwise, you'll always question if you should try or not. . .

    . . . and the sooner the better.

    Good luck!

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    Thank you Raskalnikov. I have a lawyer friend finding the right one for me. I hope this goes some where so I can put it to rest.

    Thank you,
    Hayley R.

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    YOu said that you are only now realizing how deep this goes. Are you currently seeing a therapist?

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    I had started going to therapy prior to my begining my transition, regarding my transition itself, not specifically over this event, but once i've started on my transition was I able to see what it had been doing to me. The images of those times have been indellibly marked on my brain and I can't shake it only now i'm no longer a slave to it, thanks to hormones. The loss of interest in sex for the first time in my life has made me see what kind of negative impact it had on my ability to enjoy the romantic aspects of my relationships, not to mention that I would like to put it to rest and cannot until this is done. I can't walk around with it until I face him in court and know that he gets what he deserves and at the very least also get some kind of apology out of the bastard for ruining my mind for so long. It's like a hidden nightmare that remains below the surface and everything seems like it was ok, but beneath the surface this issue haunts me and torments me, hounding me and I feel like its made me a slave to it. My coming out about my transition has given me the strength to open up about this and deal with it. I would not have been able to do so prior to my begining transition.

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    OK, but I think you need to consider going to therapy for this specific item. It's true that having him go to court and also an apology will bring closure to this (to some degree or another) but there still is more to this than that. It's kind of like if you have a cut that gets infected, you can stitch it up, but the infection is still there. And the longer it sits, the deeper it will go. You need someone to help you with the mental infection this has caused.

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