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I was sexually molested when I was a child and living in Ghana -Africa.

Long Beach, CA |

This is about 10year when I was 12 and my abuser was in his twenties. I am now living in the USA and have been living here for four years.
Can I sue my abuser when he comes to the US this summer?
Do i have a chance of winning If i could get others who were molested by him to testify?
I am a male and my abuser was a male who had touched me indecently and caused me to masturbate. This occurred several times for about 5 years. I enjoyed it but i now know it was manipulation from my offender. please let me know if i can sue him the US

Attorney Answers 4


Yours is a fairly complex international law question. I will change the practice area and tags so that attorneys with the detailed understanding of it can answer.

Even if this were a strictly US law and jurisdiction question, the fact that you waited 4 years after you turned 18 to file suit might be a problem under the relevant statute of limitations. You state that you now know it was manipulation but do not indicate that you have suffered any damages as a result of his touching. If what he did was not illegal in the jurisdiction where it occurred (e.g., if the age of consent for sexual activity was 12 years old in the time and place when this happened) it wouldn't create a cause of action that you could sue on as an adult.

Turning to the international law issues, I am not sure that child sexual abuse (if that is what Ghanian law would have called what happened to you there 10 years ago) committed overseas is a type of suit that can be brought in US courts against foreign nationals who are visiting here.

Rather than go into more details in a public Internet forum, you might want to speak to an attorney in Long Beach who practices international personal injury law. Many personal injury lawyers offer free initial consultations. You can use the Find a Lawyer button here on to search for a lawyer who is willing to meet with you in private to discuss your case.

NOTE: This answer is made available by the lawyer for educational purposes only. By using or participating in this site you understand that there is no attorney client privilege between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your area who regularly practices in the subject matter which your question is about. You should develop an attorney client relationship with the lawyer of your choice so that your communications will be subject to the attorney client privilege and have the other benefits of a professional relationship. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific matter as partially described in the question.

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You can sue anyone you want, and lets say you win a verdict for $7 million. It seems to me that collection of your judgement would be near impossible, with all the "defendant's" assets being in another country. However, the FBI may want to keep tabs on this guy when he comes to the U.S., or not let him visit at all. You should sue him there where all of the witnesses, evidence and such are, or call the police back in your home country, where all of this happend and stop it for good. I am sorry to hear of your terrible experience. Good luck!

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Unlikely, but contact an international lawyer in your state to discuss in detail.

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Here is an article that contains helpful information about criminal and civil sexual abuse cases in California. Since the abuse took place in Ghana, and the abuse took place in Ghana, it is possible that the proper forum for any legal proceeding is Ghana. You may find this article helpful.

This post and any other internet postings are for informational purposes only. Internet postings are not legal advice. No comments, answers, or other postings should be taken as legal advice. Internet postings do not create an attorney-client relationship. Receipt or viewing of content of an internet posting does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. There is no representation, warranty or guarantee that postings or comments are accurate. Please feel free to give us a call at the office if you would like a formal case evaluation. Best of luck with your case. Talitha.

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