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Orange County Sexual Abuse Lawyer

Manly, Stewart & Finaldi is Orange County’s leading law firm in sexual assault and abuse cases.

Manly, Stewart & Finaldi is Orange County’s leading law firm in sexual assault and abuse cases.

Our team of dedicated attorneys understands the profound impact an assault or abuse can have on someone’s livelihood – and we are committed to fighting for justice on behalf of survivors throughout California.

If you or a loved one is a survivor of sexual assault or abuse in Orange County, please contact us today to discuss your case with an experienced Orange County sexual abuse lawyer. We want to give you the support you need in this trying time – and the justice you deserve.

Our attorneys take on a multitude of different sexual abuse cases from clergy sexual abuse in Orange County to elder sexual abuse in Orange County and more. We are here to help you.

Why Trust Manly, Stewart & Finaldi With Your Sexual Assault Case?

At Manly, Stewart & Finaldi, we have helped survivors of sexual assault with our mix of experience, knowledge, and skills.

  • 20 Years of Experience: with a proven record of success, we have represented clients who have survived abuse of all types with over 20 years of experience – recovering more than $2 billion total.
  • Trauma-Informed Approach: We take a trauma-informed approach to all cases, understanding that in this time of need, the most important thing you need is someone who will listen to your case and your concerns. We provide a warm environment of trust and support to ensure you receive the help you need.
  • We Will Take On Institutions and Corporations: Our Orange County sexual abuse attorneys are committed to fighting against sexual assault and abuse on an institutional level. We do not hesitate to take large corporations, religious entities, and youth organizations to the courtroom, and have done so successfully in the past – representing hundreds in cases against schools and clergy in California.
  • 100% Optional Confidential Process: We understand that this may be an incredibly personal, stressful period of your life, so we try to maintain a comfortable environment for you and your case. If requested, your case and identity are kept 100% confidential so that your personal details are kept private, and your safety is ensured.

Do You Need an Orange County Sexual Abuse Lawyer?

An Orange County sexual abuse lawyer experienced in sexual assault and sexual abuse cases can be invaluable to your case and your journey to healing and recovery. At Manly, Stewart & Finaldi, our primary goal is to give you peace of mind through the legal process. We:

  • Can take care of all the legal legwork while you focus on your own personal safety and healing.
  • Help determine the full value of your case, so that you receive the compensation you are entitled to – and the at-fault parties are charged a punitive amount that they deserve.
  • Determine all the parties that may be at fault for your suffering. This includes any parties who failed to act after your assault, causing further pain and suffering due to negligence.
  • Negotiate with the at-fault parties on your behalf, so that you do not have to deal with the abusers and other parties directly.
  • Pursue the at-fault parties for the maximum possible compensation. This not only includes economic damages, but noneconomic damages such as pain and suffering – and even punitive damages to serve as a deterrent for abuse.
  • Ensure your personal safety and privacy. If requested, your identity and case can be confidential through all legal proceedings.

Ultimately, a skilled Orange County sexual assault attorney can not only help you seek closure for your case, but also provide the support and assistance necessary to obtain the justice you deserve.

Navigate This Page

Click on any of the following links to jump down to the section on the page.
What Is Sexual Assault?
Signs of Sexual Abuse
Types of Sexual Assault Cases We Handle
The Difference Between Civil vs. Criminal Sexual Abuse Cases
Financial Compensation
What to Do if You Are a Survivor
Statute of Limitations on a Sexual Abuse Claim in California
Orange County Resources for Survivors
Contact Us

What Is Sexual Assault?

Section 243.4 of the California Penal Code defines the crime of sexual assault as to touch another person’s intimate parts (the anus, vagina or a female’s breasts) while the victim is unlawfully restrained by the accused or an accomplice, if the touching is against the will of the victim and done for the purpose of sexual arousal, sexual gratification or sexual abuse.

Sexual abuse and assault can involve any of the following:

  • Inappropriate sexual touching
  • Unwelcome sexual contact
  • Sexually inappropriate jokes, comments or remarks
  • Sexual harassment or discrimination
  • Verbal sexual abuse
  • Sexualized gestures or facial expressions
  • Producing or distributing sexually explicit images of a child
  • Exposing a child to pornography
  • Sexual grooming
  • Child molestation
  • Indecent exposure
  • Public masturbation
  • Lewd and lascivious acts in front of a minor
  • Sexual battery
  • Forced penetration
  • Sodomy
  • Rape or attempted rape
  • Statutory rape

In California, no person under the age of 18 can legally give his or her consent to sexual activity. Any sexual contact with a minor constitutes child sexual abuse in Orange County. Sex crimes in Orange County against children can lead to aggravated felony criminal charges against the perpetrator as well as civil liabilities.

Signs of Sexual Abuse

Sexual assault and ongoing patterns of sexual abuse can inflict immense harm on victims. Although every survivor is unique, certain red flags have been noted regularly among victims. Your child or someone you love may have been subjected to sexual abuse if you notice any of the following signs:

  • Physical signs: sexual abuse can inflict bodily injuries on a victim, such as genital injuries or bruising on the upper thighs. It can also result in physical signs such as weight loss, an unkempt appearance and poor personal hygiene.
  • Psychological signs: survivors can experience lifelong mental and psychological trauma from the incident, including post-traumatic stress disorder, flashbacks, chronic anxiety and depression. Feelings of guilt, shame and low self-esteem are also common.
  • Behavioral signs: depending on the age of the victim, this could mean outbursts, aggression, mood swings, personality changes, withdrawal, regression or constant crying. A small child may exhibit sexual behaviors that are inappropriate for his or her age.
  • Long-term effects: many survivors report issues such as substance abuse disorders, eating disorders, problems forming relationships with others, reduced school and career performance, and suicidal tendencies long after the incident.

The signs of sexual abuse can change based on the victim’s age and the circumstances of the crime. If you suspect sexual abuse, report it to the proper authorities immediately and get the victim the help that he or she needs.

Types of Sexual Assault Cases We Handle in Orange County

Sexual assault and abuse can pervade many places, institutions and corporations. Victims who have been sexually assaulted or abused anywhere in Orange County, by any perpetrator, may be entitled to financial compensation.

Our knowledgeable attorneys have the experience and dedication to help survivors of all types of sexual assault and abuse. This includes:

We specialize in fighting against abuse at an institutional level in Orange County whether it is school sexual abuse in Orange County . We understand that, while the abuser may be directly accountable for his actions, there may be other parties who may be indirectly liable for your pain and suffering.

Our Orange County sexual assault lawyers will pursue any and all parties who may have either directly contributed to your abuse, indirectly enabled your abuse, or simply did nothing when any abuse has occurred.

The Difference Between Civil vs. Criminal Sexual Abuse Cases

Sexual abuse is a crime in California that can lead to criminal charges being brought against an individual perpetrator.

Being found guilty of committing sexual assault or abuse in Orange County could lead to a criminal sentence against the attacker, such as jail or prison time, fines, and mandatory registration on the state’s sex offender registry.

The goal of a criminal case is to punish or penalize a suspect for breaking the law. However, a sexual abuser can also face civil consequences for his or her actions.

A civil lawsuit brought on behalf of a sexual abuse survivor is different from a criminal case in that its goal is to make the victim whole again rather than to penalize the abuser. The purpose is to hold one or more parties liable, or financially responsible, for the tort or wrongdoing that was committed.

The civil justice system has a lower burden of proof than the criminal justice system. The burden of proof is a preponderance of the evidence rather than proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

This means a defendant can be found liable in a sexual abuse civil case even if he or she is never convicted of a sex crime. Under this rule, institutions can be held liable for sexual abuse as well as individual perpetrators.

Financial Compensation for Sexual Abuse Survivors in Orange County

There are many reasons to file a civil sexual abuse claim in Orange County as a survivor. Taking legal action in the civil courts can provide justice by holding one or more parties accountable for the role that they played in the crimes committed against you.

Public accountability could force an institution to change how it responds to and addresses sexual assault, potentially protecting others from this crime in the future. In addition, you could receive financial compensation that makes it easier to move forward.

In California, sexual assault survivors can recover compensation for both economic and noneconomic damages, such as:

  • Medical expenses: reimbursement for all necessary medical care the victim received, which may include emergency care, doctor’s appointments, injury or infection treatments, and prescription medications.
  • Counseling: the costs of past and ongoing mental health counseling, including seeing a therapist, psychologist or psychiatrist for support.
  • Lost wages: compensation for earnings, income and employment benefits lost due to the victim’s inability to work.
  • Pain and suffering: compensation for depression, anxiety, lost quality of life, loss of consortium, physical pain, emotional distress, mental anguish, psychological trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder and other intangible losses.

In addition to these compensatory damages, a sexual abuse survivor may be entitled to punitive damages. In California, punitive damages can be awarded in a civil case to punish a defendant for acts of fraud, malice or oppression that are proven by clear and convincing evidence.

Discuss the potential value of your sexual abuse or assault claim with our attorneys for more information about the financial compensation that may be available to you and your family.

What to Do if You Are a Survivor of Sexual Abuse or Assault in Orange County

If you get assaulted or sexually abused in Orange County, take these steps to protect yourself and seek justice against the person who attacked you:

  • Go to a safe place. Tell someone what happened, whether this is a friend, family member or the police.
  • Obtain medical care. Go to the closest hospital or sexual assault forensic exam unit for a medical evaluation (ideally within five days of the attack).
  • Report the crime to local law enforcement. File a police report and cooperate with the police if you wish to press criminal charges against the abuser.
  • Take care of your mental health. Seek the counseling and help that you need to address the emotional, mental and psychological side of sexual abuse.
  • Reach out for legal help. Contact an attorney at Manly, Stewart & Finaldi to tell your story and get legal advice. We will believe you.

Our lawyers will work closely with you to help you rebuild your life as much as possible after a traumatic sex crime in California.

Statute of Limitations on a Sexual Abuse Claim in California

California extended its statute of limitations, or deadline to file, sexual abuse civil claims starting in 2020. The new law, Assembly Bill 218, came after lawmakers acknowledged the myriad difficulties sexual abuse survivors face in coming forward. Many survivors wait years to make sexual abuse allegations due to issues such as repressed memories, extreme psychological trauma and fear of retaliation.

California law gives child sexual abuse survivors until age 40 or 5 years from the date of discovery of the connection between a mental health problem and the sexual abuse incident to file a claim (whichever is later). An Orange County child sexual abuse attorney can help pursue legal recourse and tell you your options.

If the individual was an adult at the time of the sexual assault or abuse, he or she has 10 years from the date of the last incident or 3 years from the date of discovery, whichever comes later.

It is important to contact an Orange County sexual assault lawyer as soon as possible about a potential claim. If you wait too long, you could miss your opportunity to seek financial compensation. The courts in California will most likely dismiss a claim that is filed past the expiration of the statute of limitations. Waiting can also lead to the loss of important evidence. Contact a lawyer right away to preserve your rights.

Orange County Resources for Sexual Abuse and Assault Survivors

Contact Our Orange County Sexual Abuse Lawyer Today

Any case of sexual assault or sexual abuse can be devastating, with effects that are often long-term – if not permanent. At Manly, Stewart & Finaldi, we want to help all survivors of assault and abuse recover from these tragic events, and give them the life and future they deserve.

Please contact us today if you or a loved one is a survivor of sexual assault or abuse. Your initial consultation is free and 100% confidential for your safety. Let us fight for your life today.

Manly, Stewart & Finaldi is regarded as America's leading law firm for sexual abuse cases. As a firm that exclusively handles sexual abuse cases, our California law firm offers experienced representation to obtain justice for sexual abuse survivors, harassment, and discrimination.

Learn more about Manly, Stewart & Finaldi.