It is possible to sue for civil damages. One of the advantages in this respect is that the two year statute of limitations would not start to toll until the child turned 18 years old. Therefore, any actions of abuse that took place before her 18th birthday would be a viable claim until her 20th birthday.
Before you pursue this action, think about what it means, though. Some might find it empowering to sue their abuser, while others might consider it reopening the wounds they are trying desperately to close. Make sure the benefits that you anticipate are worth the tribulations that are likley to occur as well.
First, civil litigation often takes a year or more from filing to trial. In between can be a lot of turmoil, including the real possibility of having to relive the abuse. Second, it is more than proving the abuse, it is about proving how she has been "damaged" and then having a jury put a dollar amount on that. Finally, even if you get a judgment, the question is whether you will be able to collect it. An award of $1 million dollars, pulling a random number out of the air, sounds great when the jury awards it, but if you never see any of that money, the luster wears thin.
For these, and many other reasons, you should consider the positives and negatives of pursuing this strategy. If you decide that it is worth going through it, consult an attorney and start the process moving. Just know exactly what you are looking at, good and bad, so you can make a decision with eyes wide open.
Regardless of whether you decide to pursue civil litigation or not, my thoughts and prayers are with your roommate's daughter.
Yes. Hire a personal attorney area in your area. Your attorney will assess as to what the potential damages are and whether the defendant has any resources to pay for any judgment that you obtain against the defendant.
The information provided in this answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you are interested in his legal services, feel free to call Chris at (303) 409-7635 at his law office in the Denver Tech Center. All initial consultations are free of charge.
Simple answer. Yes.
The above is not intended as legal advice. The response does not constitute the creation of an attorney client relationship as this forum does not provide for a confidential communication.