I'm just coming to terms in how tremendously the abuse has affected the outcome of my life so far. I suffer from panic and anxiety, depression, addiction, alcoholism and can't begin to explain the emotional and psychological damage. Can I still file a civil suit against him and/or the daycare for negligence even though the statute has run out for criminal charges? This man is now a police officer running a karate school for children and it disgusts me to think that he MAY still be sexually abusing children, and I never took a stand.
Criminal Defense Attorney
I am wondering if you have the correct statute of limitations to bring criminal charges. Under Ind. Code § 35-41-4-2, available at http://www.in.gov/legislative/ic/code/title35/ar41/ch4.html, the prosecutor can bring criminal charges any time before the victim’s 31st birthday, as long as the molestation happened after June 30, 1988. If you are not yet 31, the deadline has not passed.
This does not mean the prosecutor will automatically take your case. S/he must make a decision on how much evidence there is to support the charges, and with a case this old, winning a prosecution might be difficult. The only way to find out is to discuss your evidence with the prosecutor.
As for a civil claim, you must file a lawsuit within two years of the molestation, or by your 20th birthday, whichever is later. There are, however, circumstances where you could bring the claim later than that. I was able to bring a claim for a molestation victim who filed at age 38, because she had repressed all memory of her abuse. This particular issue is not easy to use. In fact, I had two clients, and one was not able to present her case to a jury, because she remembered the molestations. Check Doe v. Shults-Lewis Child & Family Services, Inc., 718 N.E.2d 738 (Ind. 1999), available at http://www.state.in.us/judiciary/opinions/archive/10089904.mcs.html, which was the Indiana Supreme Court decision on my case.
If you would like to have a free consultation on your situation, please call me at 317-259-4442.
I have taken no action on your problem other than to review your question. I want to confirm that no attorney-client relationship has been created between our firm and you in connection with this matter, and that nothing in this response is legal advice to you. As you may know, the legislature and the courts can change the law in ways that may affect the strength of your case. In addition, the circumstances of your case may change. Because we do not represent you, we cannot keep track of, and inform you about, any change in the law. I must warn you that there are time limits for raising certain claims and defenses. Without taking more time to review your case, this firm cannot properly advise about those deadlines. You may lose your claims and defenses if they are not filed in court within the time allowed. I would advise you to retain the services of an attorney as soon as possible.