Were You Sexually Abused, Even Decades Ago?
It's Time to Come Forward.
Survivors, You Deserve the Full Measure of Justice. We Can Help.If you are a survivor of sexual abuse and ready to seek justice, our experienced, compassionate attorneys want to hear your story and help you get that justice. Our investigations focus not only on the conduct of sexual predators, but also on the actions and failures of the institutions that let the offenders get away with the abuse.
Richard Serbin, head of the JJS Sexual Abuse Team, uncovered the "secret archives" of files outlining thousands complaints of abuse, and proving that the church knew the things that were happening and chose to ignore and silence them.
No Matter Where You Live Now Or If the Abuser Has Died, You Can Still Seek JusticeDon’t let your current location keep you from what you deserve. Even if you don’t currently live in the state where the abuse occurred, you can still file a lawsuit. The JJS team can help get your suit filed in the proper jurisdiction. But there are deadlines that you can't miss. Call us today.
JOIN THE FIGHT FOR JUSTICE. Confidential and free, no-obligation consultation.
Many States Working to Enact “Windows of Opportunity” for Sex Abuse Survivors
More and more states are passing window of opportunity laws that allow ANYONE to get compensation. Survivors in their 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s who have suffered the consequences of child abuse for years, can now move forward with their claims and be paid for their years of torment. The original abuser may be dead, but the organization or institution behind them is still responsible and should be held accountable.
- Changes in Statute of Limitations (SOL) laws open limited "windows of opportunity" for VICTIMS OF ANY AGE to file civil claims against their abusers and the organizations that covered up the abuse, no matter how long ago the abuse took place. Some of these windows last only one year and when they are gone, the window closes forever.
- Raising the age limit that determines when a survivor can file. In New York, the limit had been 23 years of age. The new Child Victims Act changed it to 55.
- Some laws depend on when, and if, a report was filed with authorities about the sexual abuse incident. Even if you did not file at the time of the abuse, we can help you with this necessary step.
These windows of opportunity will not be open forever. While these windows have no limit regarding when the abuse occurred, they DO impose limits on when your case can be filed. Some will be open for as little as one year, so don’t hesitate to contact the JJS team about your abuse. It is vital that you take action as soon as possible to determine whether you are still eligible to be compensated.
SOL Reform Bills Passed in 2019
Extends the civil SOL for a sex offense against a person under 19 years of age to age 19 plus 6 years or 6 years from the offense, discovery of the offense or criminal conviction of a perpetrator for a sex offense. (SB 11) (Governor Signed into Law on May 30, 2019).
Extends the civil SOL to age 30 and opens a 19-month revival window against people and institutions. (HB 2466) (Governor Signed into Law on May 27, 2019).
Extends the civil SOL for sexual abuse of a victim under age 21 to age 21 plus 30 years. Eliminate the criminal SOL for any felony or misdemeanor offense involving sexual abuse, sexual exploitation or sexual assault of a minor, including risk of injury involving intimate contact with a victim under age 16. Also, extends the criminal SOL for sexual abuse, sexual exploitation or sexual assault of victims age 18, 19, or 20 to age 51 and for sexual assault of a victim age 21 or older to 20 years from the offense for felonies and 10 years from the offense for misdemeanors. (SB 3) (Governor Signed into Law on June 18, 2019).
Would extend the civil SOL by tolling the SOL during the time that victim is subject to fraudulent concealment. (SB 1868) (Passed in Senate and House, May 23, 2019).
Extends the criminal SOL for the following felonies and misdemeanors to age of majority (18) plus 15 years: 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree sexual abuse, incest, and sexual exploitation by a counselor, therapist, or school employee. (SF 589) (Governor Signed into Law on May 16, 2019).
Eliminates the criminal SOL for a victim under age 16 for felony and misdemeanor incest, unlawful sexual contact, sexual abuse of a minor, rape and gross sexual assault. Extends the criminal SOL to 20 years from the offense for a victim age 16 or older for felony unlawful sexual contact or gross sexual assault. (SP 20/LD67) (Governor Signed into Law on June 27, 2019).
Eliminates the criminal SOL for felonies and misdemeanors. Extends the civil SOL against perpetrators and institutions to the earlier of age 27 or 3 years after discovery that injury was caused by childhood sexual abuse. Opens a 1-year revival window on May 7, 2019 against institutions and perpetrators who are alive and have been convicted of or admitted to the abuse. (HB 640) (Governor Signed into Law on May 7, 2019).
Eliminates the criminal SOL for felony sex trafficking of a minor and child pornography. (LB 519) (Governor Signed into Law on May 31, 2019).
Eliminates the criminal SOL for a sexual assault arising out of the same facts as a murder. (SB 9) (Governor Signed into Law on May 16, 2019). Eliminates the criminal SOL for felony sexual assault where the identity of an accused perpetrator is established by DNA evidence, regardless of victim’s age. (AB 142) (Governor Signed into Law on May 31, 2019).
Extends the civil SOL for child sex abuse to age 55 or 7 years from discovery, whichever is later, for claims against individuals and public and private institutions. Removes claim presentment requirement for claims against public entities. Opens a 2-year revival window on December 1, 2019 for victims abused as minors or adults against perpetrators and institutions. Also, extends the civil SOL for adult sex assault victims to 7 years from the offense or 7 years from discovery, whichever is later. (S477) (Governor Signed into Law on May 13, 2019).
Would extend the criminal SOL for the following felonies committed against minors to age 30: abandonment and abuse, criminal sexual contact, and criminal sexual penetration. (SB 55) (Governor Vetoed on March 16, 2019).
Extends the criminal SOL for felony to age 28 and misdemeanor to age 25. Extends civil SOL to age 55 for claims against people and institutions. Also, removes 90-day notice of claim requirement for claims against public institutions. Opens a 1-year revival window on August 14, 2019 against perpetrators and institutions. (S 2440) (Governor Signed into Law on February 14, 2019).
Would extend the civil SOL for human trafficking, which includes sexual servitude, of a minor to age of majority (18) plus 10 years and of an adult to 10 years from the offense. (HB 198) (Passed in House and Senate, July 10, 2019).
Extends the criminal SOL for felony and misdemeanor sex offenses to 21 years from the offense. (HB 1425) (Governor Signed into Law on March 21, 2019).
Extends the civil SOL to age of majority (18) plus 35 years and expands the 7-year delayed discovery rule to apply not just to the perpetrator but to all defendants. Also applies new SOL retroactively to claims against the perpetrator only. Expands liability for public entities by making new SOL applicable to them. (H5171 & S315) (Governor Signed into Law on July 1, 2019).
Extends the civil SOL to age 33 with a 3-year delayed discovery rule. Eliminates the criminal SOL for child sex abuse felonies and misdemeanors, with a limitation that if prosecuting after victim is age 43, and victim was at or between ages 13 and 17 at the time of the offense, and victim never reported the offense to another person before reaching age 23, admissible and credible evidence corroborating the charge or similar acts by defendant is required. Also eliminates the criminal SOL for rape and aggravated rape of an adult if reported within 3 years of the offense. (HB 565) (Governor Signed into Law on May 24, 2019).
Expands the DNA statute and eliminates the criminal SOL where DNA has been collected but not yet tested. (HB 8) (Governor Signed into Law on June 4, 2019). Extends the civil SOL to age of majority (18) plus 30 years against perpetrators and institutions. (HB 3809) (Governor Signed into Law on June 14, 2019).
Eliminates the criminal SOL for felony human trafficking of a child, which includes trafficking for sexual exploitation of the child. (HB 20) (Governor Signed into Law on March 21, 2019). Extends the criminal SOL for felony crimes where the SOL has run as of May 5, 2003 and no charges had been filed, by extending the time from 1 to 4 years that a prosecution must be commenced after a perpetrator has been identified by DNA evidence. (HB 192) (Governor Signed into Law on March 25, 2019). Waives governmental immunity for civil claims of negligence or injury resulting from sexual battery against a student by a school employee, in a position of trust, who is criminally charged, that the school knew or should have known was a sex offender. Also, extends the civil SOL for claims against a governmental entity or its employee to 2 years after a claim arises or discovery of a claim. (HB 311) (Governor Signed into Law on March 25, 2019).
Eliminates the civil SOL and revives all expired claims against perpetrators and negligent institutions. (HB 330) (Governor Signed into Law on May 28, 2019). Eliminates the criminal SOL for sexual exploitation of a minor. (HB 511) (Governor Signed into Law on May 30, 2019).
Eliminates the criminal SOL for felony rape, sexual misconduct, child molestation, and sexual exploitation of a minor and extends the criminal SOL to 20 years from the offense for rape and indecent liberties, regardless of victim’s age. (SB 5649) (Governor Signed into Law on April 19, 2019). Extends the criminal SOL for felony sex offenses by extending when the SOL begins to run to 2 years from identification of perpetrator by DNA, regardless of victim’s age. (HB 1166) (Governor Signed into Law on April 23, 2019).
Eliminates the criminal SOL for felony sexual abuse, child sexual abuse, sexual abuse of a minor, and incest. Extends the civil SOL where victim was under age 35 to age 40 with a 5-year discovery rule. Also, opens a 2-year revival window for victims abused as minors or adults on May 3, 2019. (B22-0021/DC Act 22-593/L22-0311) (Law Effective on May 3, 2019)
Survivors, We Are Here For You and Ready to Listen
If you are a survivor of sexual abuse ready to seek the justice you deserve, our experienced, compassionate attorneys want to hear your story and help you get that justice. Our investigations focus not only on the conduct of sexual predators but also on the actions and failures of the institutions that aided and abetted the offenders.
The JJS team has been nationally recognized for delivering real justice on behalf of sexual abuse victims. We are not afraid to take on the tough cases or go head-to-head with the nation’s largest and most powerful organizations. Our clients can depend on JJS to seek the full measure of justice they deserve.
All communications with clients are confidential and privileged. If we were to file a lawsuit on your behalf, we could identify you only as a Jane Doe or John Doe.
The JJS Sexual Abuse Division is led by Richard M. Serbin, a crusader in the fight against sexual abuse by clergy and author of When Clergy Fail Their Flocks. His work on behalf of victims has been featured in numerous national outlets, including NPR, The Daily Beast, NBC, the Philadelphia Inquirer, The Tribune-Democrat, The Tribune Review, and the Wall Street Journal.
Fifteen years before reports of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church circulated in newspapers around the world, before the public believed priests could do any wrong, Richard Serbin was fighting to expose the appalling actions of priests and church leaders. For decades, these “men of God” concealed evidence and accounts of child molestation, pornography, abuse and rape of innocent boys and girls in “secret archives.” Because of Richard’s work, these archives have been brought to light. Richard secured the only verdict against a child predator priest, bishops, and diocese in Pennsylvania to date and one of only a handful nationwide at the time.
Don't Miss the Window of Opportunity
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