How do I go about filing charges for a series of Sexual Assaults that happened a number of years ago?

Asked 9 months ago - Seal Rock, OR

When I was 4 years old, I was repeatedly sodomized by my babysitter and her two eldest sons. I understand that in Oregon, the Statute of Limitations for Sexual Assault on a Minor doesn't expire until the victim's 30th birthday...... I am 29 years old and would like to know how to go about pressing charges.

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Jay Bodzin

    Contributor Level 20

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . There isn't really any such thing as "pressing charges." This is a common misconception. When we talk of "pressing charges," we generally just mean, calling the police to make a report of a crime, and cooperating with the District Attorney in any criminal case that they bring as a result of the report. The police have near-total discretion as to which reports of crimes they investigate or refer to the DA; and likewise the DA has their own discretion about which cases to charge. So you can certainly contact the police and report this incident, and help the DA make their case if they decide to pursue it; but you can't do anything else to compel a prosecution if the DA isn't interested. After so long a delay, there may be problems in assembling evidence which might make them balk.

    You may also have a separate, civil cause of action against the abuser. That, unlike a criminal case, you can control. But it would be a very emotionally difficult process - you'd have to open this painful incident up to public examination. You should consult with an attorney in private if you want to pursue this.

    Please read the following notice:

    Jay Bodzin is licensed to practice law in the State of Oregon and... more
  2. Mark F. Gallagher

    Contributor Level 7

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You should consult with an attorney handles cases involving childhood sexual abuse. There are a number of lawyers in Oregon who handle such cases including some of the lawyers involved in the high profile release of documents by the Boys Scouts. They should be able to tell you what is involved in Oregon cases like these and what means may be available to protect your privacy. For example in Hawaii where I practice such cases generally are filed under pseudonyms so my clients are not identified in the public record.

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