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Do I report childhood sexual assault as an adult or do I just see a personal injury attorney?

York, PA |

My husband just informed me when he was placed in juvenile facility, he was sexually abused by a male counselor. He never reported it or even talked about it really. He doesn't even like the topic. This came up when we were trying to get his medical records. The actual facility has been moved but the organization has several "homes" currently. So what can he do? I've tried to talk him into coming out - that counselor may still be doing this to other little boys. What would the steps be? Contact police? Any help is appreciated. With the recent Sandusky incident also being in PA, I don't want him to look like he's just trying to sue. He's been scarred for life. He has been diagnosed with social anxiety, depression, bipolar, etc. Does he sue for personal injury?

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Attorney answers 6


possibly, depending on when it happened and when he turned 18. however, even if he doesnt have a civil claim, he may be able to pursue criminal charges against this predator. so contact a local attorney about the civil stuff who is on this site and contact a the authorities about the criminal stuff.



Thank you...he's 34 years old now. This happened when he was 10 years old - 1988-1989.


Report it to the police. Civil sexual abuse claims must be filed before the age of 30 in Pennsylvania.


Report the incident to the authorities and consult an attorney to investigate and advise you of your rights.

Call for a free consultation at 727-937-1400 or visit us on the Web at


Yes, he can sue for personal injury in a situation like that although the statute of limitations could be problematic depending on the facts of his case. Talk with a good lawyer directly. Steve

Please note that I am only licensed in Pennsylvania. Therefore, if your case involves another jurisdiction, you should disregard this post. Further, this posting does not constitute proper legal advice since I have not been able to learn all the circumstances of your case. As such, you should consult a lawyer in person immediately for proper legal advice and should not rely on this posting for legal advice.


In this type of situation, it is advisable to seek the advice of council. A compadent attorney will ensure that all legal remmedies are explored to the injuries recieved. It appears that your husband has suffered greatly as a result of this abuse and that he could perhaps benefit from addressing the situation.


Given the passage of time consult with a personal injury attorney first for guidance. After the attorney works with your family to gather the facts, and explains the criminal and civil options available, the attorney can contact the sexual crimes unit at the police department to schedule an interview. For civil claims in Pennsylvania, the victim has 12 years from his or her 18th birthday to commence a claim for "childhood sexual abuse". 42 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann.§ 5533. For criminal charges, the Commonwealth may file charges up until the victim turns 50 if the victim turned 18 on or after August 17, 2002. 42 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann.§ 5552(c)(3). There are exceptions to these time limitations so please consult with an attorney promptly.

Legal disclaimer: The statement above is general information and not intended to be a legal opinion to be followed. The person requesting information and all others reading the answer should retain an attorney before making a decision. The information provided does not create an attorney-client relationship. Contact our office to obtain specific legal advice at (215) 702-2708 for Pennsylvania or New Jersey matters.

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