PORTLAND SEXUAL ABUSE LAWYERS HELPING SURVIVORS THROUGHOUT MAINE
Every day, hundreds of Americans suffer from sexual violence. Many of these victims are children. Sexual abuse can, and often does, fundamentally alter the lives of victims, affecting everything from their romantic relationships to their mental and physical health.
Lawsuits concerning sexual abuse can be difficult. Often, the abuse can be difficult to prove. So too, it takes skill and finesse to make the damages suffered by sexual abuse victims understandable to a jury. In addition, it can often be difficult to find a defendant who can be financially held responsible for a perpetrator’s sexual abuse.
The attorneys at Gideon Asen LLC work diligently and aggressively to ensure that perpetrators and enablers of sexual violence are held accountable, and to ensure that victims are compensated for their abuse.
What are common types of sexual abuse claims?
While there are many types of sexual abuse claims, such claims typically involve perpetrators using their positions of power or authority to prey on others. Examples of common claims include:
- Sexual abuse by therapists;
- Sexual abuse by physicians;
- Sexual abuse by attorneys;
- Sexual abuse of Boy Scouts;
- Sexual abuse in the Catholic Church;
- Sexual abuse of children at schools and in the care of other trusted adults
Can I bring a case for sexual abuse if it happened a long time ago?
It depends on the circumstances surrounding the abuse. In 2021, the lawyers at Gideon Asen, along with others from the Maine Trial Lawyers Association, pushed for the passage of a law to allow persons who suffered sexual abuse as a child to pursue cases as adults. That law has now been signed by Governor Mills. As a result, claims for childhood sexual abuse that occurred in Maine can be brought at any time, even if the abuse occurred decades earlier.
In cases regarding sexual abuse of an adult, the statute of limitations is often two years. It may be more, depending on the circumstances.
Who can I sue for my sexual abuse?
A victim of sexual abuse can sue his or her abuser. However, depending on the circumstances, that person may be “judgment proof”—that is, he or she may not have sufficient assets to pay a judgment without going bankrupt.
Generally, a corporation or organization is not liable for the misconduct of its employee where the employee acts “outside the scope” of his employment. Courts have used this rule to dismiss claims against corporations and organizations based on the sexual misconduct of their employees.
However, in certain circumstances, corporations and organizations can be held accountable for the sexual misconduct of their employees. Specifically, courts have found employers responsible where the employer had prior notice of its employees sexual misconduct, or where an employer “fraudulently concealed” such conduct.
Resources for Victims of Sexual Abuse
- The Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault
- Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault’s 24-Hour Hotline: 800-871-7741
- The Children’s Safety Partnership
- Maine Sexual Assault Resources: Consent and Maine Law
New Hampshire Resources
- The New Hampshire Coalition Again Domestic & Sexual Assault
- The New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Assault 24-Hour Hotline: 866-644-3574
- Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (“RAINN”)
- RAINN’S 24-Hour Hotline: 800-656-HOPE
- The National Sexual Violence Resource Center