Your Rights Under Pennsylvania Law as a Sex Abuse Victim Have Changed

Published on August 21, 2017

The State of Pennsylvania recently changed the statute of limitations when it comes to child sex abuse. Following the wake of another Catholic Church sex abuse scandal, Pennsylvania lawmakers stood up for the rights of victims. Jon Ostroff, founding attorney of Ostroff Injury Law believes that this is a step in the right direction. “The changes enacted by Pennsylvania state leaders to protect victims of sex abuse is a good start. Crimes like sex abuse will forever change the lives of victims. So, where our legal system can lessen their pain, that’s what it should do.”

Pennsylvania Statute of Limitations Expanded for Both Criminal and Civil Charges

When it comes to the law, there are instances when sex abuse is prosecuted criminally, instances where it is prosecuted civilly, and instances where both criminal and civil cases are filed. Because criminal and civil law have their own set of laws, there are two statute of limitations.

Criminal charges for sex abuse against children are now treated like murder. Since it drastically alters a life, the new statute of limitations means that victims of child sex abuse now have until their 50th birthday to bring the charge to the attention of the criminal court.

Civil cases do not violate our nation’s double jeopardy provision which states no crime can be prosecuted twice. Civil cases hold the defendant to a different set of standards. The new statute of limitations means that victims of child sex abuse in Pennsylvania now have until their 30th birthdays to sue.

What Is Child Sex Abuse?

Child sex abuse is a topic that no one enjoys discussing. It’s not a victimless crime. It’s not a minor crime. It is a serious crime that can take a lifetime of therapy for those who choose to come forward in an effort to punish the perpetrators. Child sex abuse charges can apply to many circumstances including:

  • Rape
  • Statutory, indecent, and aggravated indecent assault
  • Incest
  • Indecent exposure
  • Endangering the welfare of a child
  • Corruption of a minor
  • Sexual abuse or exploitation

How Extending the Statute of Limitations Helps Child Sex Abuse Victims

Although there are people, including churches, that do not appreciate the change in the law, extending the statute of limitations will ultimately help child sex abuse victims. Child sex abuse is devastating. There are many people who wait until they are adults to come forward. Some people don’t come forward until later in adulthood. Before the change in the law, it may have been too late to hold perpetrators accountable and protect children.

Thanks to the change in the law, victims have a longer period of time in which they can come forward to get the justice that they deserve. Victims who come forward are incredibly brave, and their voices should be heard. The new statute of limitations helps victims get the compensation that they deserve for their life-long suffering.

Ostroff Injury Law Wants to Help

Ostruff Injury Law wants to help child sex abuse victims bravely step forward to prosecute their abusers and protect others from the same fate. Sex abuse can happen to children in school, as a member of a sports team, at the hands of a church leader, and even within the home.

Ostrott Injury Law attorneys have more than 80 years of experience helping Pennsylvania sex abuse victims get justice. Our attorneys are more than just people with law degrees. They are advocates who have assisted their clients receive multi-million dollar awards. Ostroff Injury Law provides compassion to their clients while providing zealous representation.

Award Winning Expertise

If you’re a victim of child sex abuse, we understand that you’re scared, angry, and may feel like there’s nothing you can do. You can reclaim your power using the new Pennsylvania statute of limitations. Voted one of the Best Law Firms by US News, Ostroff Injury Law focuses on helping child sex abuse victims get justice.

Ostroff Injury Law is also a recipient of Avvo’s Client Choice Award and many other prestigious awards. Our goal is to treat our clients with the respect and compassion that they need and deserve while helping them navigate the justice system.

We Don’t Get Paid Until You Do

Ostroff Injury Law works on a contingency fee basis for child sex abuse victims in Pennsylvania. This means that you don’t pay anything upfront. We don’t get paid until you do. This helps child sex abuse victims by making expert legal representation within reach. Call us toll free today at 855-880-6667 to make an appointment for your consultation.