Get Legal Help for Child Molestation Victims from a Los Angeles County Lawyer
Protecting your rights against child molestation through Torrance and Los Angeles County.
You have the right to bring a civil lawsuit to seek compensation for damages if your child is the victim of sexual molestation of any kind by anyone. From our El Segundo office, the Law Offices of Sanford Jossen works with clients throughout Torrance and Los Angeles County to pursue justice for children in child molestation cases.
What is child molestation under California law?
Under the California Penal Code 647.6, child molestation is annoying or molesting a child under the age of 18 or a child whom the adult believes is under 18 through the following type of conduct:
- Conduct motivated by sexual interest in a child or children in general
- Sexual conduct that tends to disturb, irritate or be observed by a child or children
Examples of child molestation can be physical or verbal. Verbal molestation can involve asking a child sexual questions in a lewd manner. An example of physical actions is masturbating while located in a children’s playground area.
Determining whether your child is being molested
The best way to know whether your child is being molested is to have your child tell you about an incident. Unfortunately, children may be afraid to talk about it or feel too emotionally repressed to let you know. Signs that sometimes indicate child molestation include the following:
- Increase in nightmares
- Moody behavior — withdrawn, depressed or anxious
- Not wanting to be left alone with certain people
- Sexual knowledge, language or behavior that seems unusual for the child’s age
Other conduct which can be of concern is where there is a sudden change in your child’s mood or behavior or particularly where your child demonstrates avoidance conduct and suddenly does not want to go to school, go to a particularly location or be in proximity to a particular person. Children are not always direct and forthright after having suffered sexual abuse or molestation. They will often demonstrate conduct which, upon inquiry, will reveal the cause.
Civil lawsuits for child sexual molestation
Parents can consult with a lawyer and file civil child molestation lawsuits against perpetrators. The statute of limitations for civil lawsuits against childhood sexual abuse falls under California Civil Procedure Code §340, which allows individuals to file up to eight years after reaching the age of 18 or up to three years after the date of discovery, which means the date when the person discovers or reasonably should have discovered the related psychological injury or illness after reaching the age of 18. This law only applies in cases against private parties. It does not apply in cases involving governmental entities such as public schools or agencies such as the Department of Children and Family Services. As soon as you suspect that your child has suffered sexual molestation, you should contact an attorney immediately. We are here to help you. Call us for a no charge consultation.
Proving child molestation is easiest when you have a witness other than the child, a voice recording of the annoyance or a video of what occurred. If molestation occurs in the home, a nanny camera can be useful for capturing evidence.
Similar to sexual assault and abuse cases, the courts can award economic, noneconomic and punitive damages.
Contact us to schedule a free consultation today
Call our El Segundo law office at 888-671-3718 or contact the Law Offices of Sanford Jossen online to arrange a free consultation.