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Statutory Rape/Sexual Abuse in NY

Orchard Park, NY |
Filed under: Child abuse

I have an acquaintance who is currently 34 years old. When she was 23 she began having a sexual relationship with a 13 year old boy, which went on for a few years. They were caught and we were under the assumption that it stopped. The police were never involved because everyone was too scared of the consequences that might have happened because she was someone in the family and the boy was too nervous to report it to police. She has a somewhat "troubled" and immature mindframe, so it now worries me that she has started working with troubled children. I don't want her to be able to do anything to another troubled kid. Is it too late for the boy to do anything now?

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

A web site entitled “Reform the Statute of Limitations on Child Sexual Abuse” lists the statutes of limitations to bring criminal charges and civil claims for child sexual abuse in all 50 states. To find your state, go to http://www.sol-reform.com/index.html.
New York’s statutes appear to depend on the type of offense. Some offenses allow the boy until his 23rd birthday to sue. I am guessing from your question that the boy might be 24 by now.
Bringing either criminal charges or a civil claim will likely be very difficult. It would be a good idea to seek a consultation from a local attorney who can review your specific facts to see what the boy’s rights and options are.
If the woman needs a professional license to work with the troubled kids, you might be able to bring the information to the licensing authority for them to consider whether it is safe for her to be working with children. There may not be any deadlines for a licensing decision to be made

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.

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V. Iyer

V. Iyer

Posted

The other aspect I would add is to check to see if the boy in question wants to rehash old painful memories or experiences and whether he has a good theparaist or other professionals helping him to cope with these matters and whether these therapists or professionals believe that it would not harm the boy if he came forward and pursued redress through the legal system.

Posted

As the information was "suppressed" it would be very difficult to prove without the help of the boy involved. I would not take getting him involved lightly. It is very possible he will not want to come forward nor may he want to be anymore involved than the last time and it could open a wound he closed long ago.

You indicate the person is an "acquaintance" but you seem to know a lot about her past. Assuming you have no ill will and are really out to protect others, you may go to the school or office she works with and share your concerns however, if you are wrong, or if you fail to prove your allegations and she learns it was you who spread the rumors you could face a defamation of character suit from her and while you may win, you will undergo some serious losses of time and money.

An Anonymous letter while sometimes safer often gets tossed into the trash and frankly most people will ignore it unless it is very specific, however once again if you make it specific enough for someone to investigate you risk reawakening the memories of the boy in the case and of course you could reveal yourself.

Hence whatever you do, GET A LAWYER to be sure you are safe. In my humble opinion I would think your best bet is to keep you ears to the ground and report if you see or hear anything. Let people know that it is important for people who are abused to go to authorities and be supportive of them while they go through whatever they need to do to get their story out and their abuser dealt with.

There is a caveat to this advice, IF you are a mandatory reporter (a school teacher, doctor, psychologist, spiritual counselor, etc) you must report and though this incident was in the far past, given her new job, you may feel it safer for you to report than not to report. Hence GET THE LAWYER, and good luck.

This answer does not, nor is it intended to, create an attorney-client relationship or constitute attorney advertising. Rather, it is offered solely for information purposes. Since the facts of each case are different, it is critical to consult with qualified counsel with whom information can be shared and assessed under an attorney-client privilege, so that competent advice can be obtained on which you can make informed decisions.

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V. Iyer

V. Iyer

Posted

Good and sensitive response. Very thoughful and insightful. Thank you

Posted

Other way to deal with this matter is for the family to carefully advise her of the risk she may be posing to herself and to other innocent kids and that you all as a family suggest that she chose another way be to employed where the risk of harm to herself and to others is minimized or non existent, if that is ever possible. If there are mandatory reporters in the family unit they do need to fulfill their legal obligations appropriately.

The other attorneys answers are appropriate and thoughtful. This is just another perspective. Sometimes gentle persuations from other loved oned within the family unit could help alleviate the concerns and achieve results that everyone can live with.

No attorney client relationship is established or intended. Contact a local lawyer for specificity as to the facts in your case. This is for general information only. Check our website for more information as to disclaimers and information herein. I have taken no action on your problem other than to review your question nor have I given any legal advise. I want to confirm that no attorney-client relationship has been created between myself or 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 nor its attorney (s) 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.

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