Huntington Beach Sexual Abuse Lawyer
Sexual abuse is a terrible crime that has far-reaching implications for survivors. Being sexually abused as a child or adult can lead to many mental, emotional and psychological effects, as well as negative impacts on your ability to work and enjoy your everyday life.
At Manly, Stewart & Finaldi, our Huntington Beach sexual abuse lawyers are dedicated to helping survivors seek justice. Our plaintiff’s attorneys can go up against individuals and institutions that are guilty of committing and covering up sexual abuse to pursue the financial compensation that you deserve.
Begin your case with a free and entirely confidential case consultation with one of our experienced sexual abuse attorneys. Call (800) 700-8450 today.
Why Choose Us for Your Huntington Beach Sexual Abuse Case?
- We are one of the country’s leading sexual abuse and sexual assault law firms. Our attorneys have achieved record-breaking case results for their clients.
- Attorney John C. Manly was named one of California’s Top 100 Attorneys by the Los Angeles Daily Journal.
- We have the resources, experience and litigators to go up against any adversary in a sexual abuse case, including large and powerful institutions.
- You will always come first to your attorney at Manly, Stewart & Finaldi. We can keep your identity anonymous throughout your case to help you feel safe, if desired.
What Is Sexual Abuse?
Sexual abuse is a form of sexual violence that generally involves sex crimes being committed against a victim more than once or over an extended period of time. Many sexual abusers target and groom victims from a young age, when victims are more susceptible to an abuse of power. For example, an abuser may take advantage of a child’s trust to convince them that they are in a loving, consensual relationship. However, no one under the age of 18 in California can give his or her consent to sexual activity.
California Penal Code Section 234.4 defines the crime of sexual assault or battery as to touch an intimate part of another person while the victim is unlawfully restrained, if the touching is against the will of the victim and is done for the purpose of sexual arousal, sexual gratification or sexual abuse. When sexual assault is committed more than once, it is often referred to as sexual abuse. However, sexual abuse can also refer to an isolated sex crime.
What Crimes Fall Under the Definition of Sexual Abuse?
Any unwanted, forcible or nonconsensual touching of a victim’s genitals, anus or the breasts of a female can constitute sexual abuse in Huntington Beach. This is true regardless of the relationship between the victim and abuser. For example, even if the two individuals are in a romantic relationship and have had consensual intercourse in the past, sexual abuse such as spousal rape can occur.
Many different sex crimes may be involved in a sexual abuse case, such as:
- Child molestation
- Child pornography
- Child sexual abuse
- Forced oral copulation
- Lewd conduct
- Sexual bullying
- Sexual harassment
- Statutory rape
No one is safe from the crime of sexual abuse. Sexual abuse can affect children, students, workers and the elderly. Both men and women can be victims. Statistically, most perpetrators of sexual violence are known to the victim (source: the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network). Of abuse cases reported to law enforcement, 93 percent of child and teen victims knew their perpetrator. If you or someone you know experienced sexual harassment in Huntington Beach, consider reaching out to an attorney to help you.
What Is a Civil Sexual Abuse Case?
Sexual abuse is a crime in California that can lead to misdemeanor or felony charges, depending on the circumstances. A criminal conviction could provide justice to a victim by punishing the assailant, such as with a jail sentence, fines, mandatory counseling and restitution. However, this is not the only form of justice available to sexual abuse survivors in Huntington Beach.
Filing a civil claim or personal injury lawsuit for sexual abuse can deliver more complete justice. It could hold not only the individual abuser but also an institution accountable for failing to prevent the attack. If a school received reports of sexual misconduct by a teacher, for example, but failed to fire the teacher or intervene, the school could be held liable (legally and financially responsible) with a civil lawsuit. In instances like this, a Huntington Beach school sexual abuse lawyer can help review your case and discuss potential action for legal recourse.
Filing a civil sexual abuse case against one or more parties could result in financial compensation being awarded to the survivor in the form of a settlement or jury verdict. While no amount of money can ever make up for being sexually abused, a financial recovery could help a victim move forward.
Our Sexual Abuse Practice Areas in Huntington Beach, California
If you wish to seek justice for sexual abuse through a civil lawsuit, it is important to find an attorney in Huntington Beach who has experience with your type of case. This is the only way to guarantee the attorney understands the laws that pertain to your case and how to navigate them. At Manly, Stewart & Finaldi, we have represented survivors in many different types of sexual abuse and assault cases for over 20 years.
Our Huntington Beach sexual abuse attorneys accept all of the following types of cases, and more:
- Child sexual abuse
- Clergy sexual abuse
- Competitive cheerleading sexual abuse
- Doctor sexual abuse
- Elder sexual abuse
- Foster care sexual abuse
- Internet sex crimes
- Massage spa sexual abuse
- Rideshare sexual abuse
- School sexual abuse
- Sexual abuse in sports
- Workplace sexual abuse
If you do not see your type of case on this list, do not assume it is outside of our practice area. This is not a comprehensive list of every type of sexual abuse case our attorneys are capable of handling. We are some of the most highly experienced sexual abuse lawyers in California and throughout the country. Contact us for a confidential conversation with one of our lawyers about your specific case for details.
Signs of Child Sexual Abuse
Sadly, children are frequent targets of sexual predators. Many signs of child sexual abuse go unnoticed by parents and guardians who are unaware of the red flags associated with sexual misconduct against children. Survivors of child sexual abuse often do not come forward on their own for fear of not being believed or retaliation from the abuser, or because they are too young to comprehend what is happening.
Potential signs of sexual abuse to look for in your child include:
- Unusual knowledge of sexual topics for the child’s age
- Inappropriate sexual play or touching of other children
- Using new words for private parts
- Physical signs, such as genital injuries or sexually transmitted diseases
- Bloody undergarments
- Behavioral or personality changes
- Chronic anxiety or depression
- Sudden outbursts or aggression
- Withdrawal or isolation
- Bullying others or being bullied
- Decreased school performance or truancy
- Sexual promiscuity or teen pregnancy
- Self-harm or suicidal thoughts/tendencies
The effects that sexual abuse has on a child will depend on the child’s age and the details of the offense. If you have any reason to suspect that your child has been sexually abused, molested or assaulted, contact the police to report the crime right away. Then, when your family is ready to discuss legal options, contact Manly, Stewart & Finaldi to speak to a premier child sexual abuse attorney in Huntington Beach.
Damages Available to Sexual Abuse Survivors in Huntington Beach
Our law firm believes that clients want – and deserve – much more than just financial compensation for their losses. No dollar amount will ever equate to what you suffered as a sexual abuse survivor. However, we also know that a successful settlement or jury verdict can deliver a sense of closure by holding someone liable for your damages. It can also provide greater financial peace of mind as you try to move forward.
The types of compensation you may be able to receive with a sexual abuse lawsuit include:
- Medical expenses: any medical care you need due to sexual abuse, including physical care, prescription medications, and therapies or counseling for emotional damage.
- Lost wages: income you lost between the date of the assault and the date that you filed a claim, as well as lost capacity to earn due to a long-term disability.
- Relocation and out-of-pocket costs: any money you spend on relocating after being sexually abused, such as switching schools or jobs, as well as other out-of-pocket costs, such as transportation.
- Pain and suffering: compensation for the noneconomic or intangible losses you suffered, including psychological trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder, mental anguish, emotional distress and loss of enjoyment of life.
In some cases, punitive damages may also be awarded. In California, punitive damages can be obtained in a case where the defendant acted with malice, fraud or oppression. This is an additional damage award granted to punish or penalize a defendant. Discuss the potential value of your sexual abuse case with one of our attorneys before entering into settlement negotiations with an insurance company to help ensure a fair outcome.
What Is the Statute of Limitations on a California Sexual Abuse Claim?
It is important to realize that you do not have an unlimited amount of time in which to file a sexual abuse lawsuit in California. Like all states, California has a law called a statute of limitations that gives victims a strict deadline to file their claims. For the most part, if you miss your deadline, you will give up the right to seek financial compensation from the at-fault party for sexual abuse or assault.
California lawmakers recognize how difficult it is for survivors to come forward with cases of sexual abuse. California’s statute of limitations on sexual abuse cases was extended by the passing of CA AB-3092 and AB-452. The signing of AB-3092 changed the deadline for an adult victim to file a civil lawsuit to 10 years from the date of the last act or attempted act of sexual assault or 3 years from the date of reasonable discovery (whichever is later).
On January 1, 2024, the California state law was updated to eliminate the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse claims. Under Assembly Bill (AB) 452 claimants do not have a specific time period to pursue a case against those that committed an act of childhood sexual assault or abuse. It reads:
“340.1. (a) There is no time limit for the commencement of any of the following actions for recovery of damages suffered as a result of childhood sexual assault:
- An action against any person for committing an act of childhood sexual assault.
- An action for liability against any person or entity who owed a duty of care to the plaintiff, if a wrongful or negligent act by that person or entity was a legal cause of the childhood sexual assault that resulted in the injury to the plaintiff.
- An action for liability against any person or entity if an intentional act by that person or entity was a legal cause of the childhood sexual assault that resulted in the injury to the plaintiff.”
Why You Need a Huntington Beach Sexual Abuse Lawyer
You have been through more than enough as a survivor of sexual abuse or assault in Huntington Beach. Allow an experienced and skilled attorney to take over from here. Hiring a sexual abuse lawyer to represent you can allow you to focus on what matters most during your civil claim: your personal safety, well-being and recovery.
You can trust your attorney to take over complicated legal aspects of your case for you, such as investigating the attack, identifying all possible defendants, searching for and collecting evidence, discovering witnesses, hiring experts, and filing your civil claim before California’s deadline. Your attorney will also have answers and personalized legal advice suited to your specific needs and concerns.
An attorney will not allow an institution or its insurance company to take advantage of you. Your lawyer will review any settlement offers presented to you and negotiate for maximum financial compensation on your behalf, even if this means going to trial. However, hiring a lawyer improves your chances of keeping your case out of court and still collecting the compensation that you deserve for a heinous sexual assault crime.
Huntington Beach Sexual Abuse Resources for Survivors
- The City of Huntington Beach
- About Huntington Beach
- Map of Huntington Beach area
- Hospitals in Huntington Beach
- Sexual Assault Victim Services (free rape and crisis counseling)
- Huntington Beach Police Department Victims Advocate: (714-536-5957)
- Waymakers Domestic Violence Assistance Program: (714-957-2737)
- Orange County Child Abuse Registry hotline: (800-207-4464)
- Orange County Rape Crisis Hotline: (919) 967-7273
- Rape and sexual assault support groups in the Huntington Beach area
- National Sexual Assault and Abuse Hotline: (1-800-656-4673)
Contact Manly, Stewart & Finaldi for a Free and Confidential Case Evaluation
You should not suffer in silence as a survivor of sexual abuse in Huntington Beach, California or the surrounding area. An attorney from Manly, Stewart & Finaldi will be with you to protect your rights every step of the process if you wish to come forward with a claim. The time to speak up is now. We will make sure that your voice is heard while also preserving your anonymity, privacy and security.
Discuss your case with a highly experienced and compassionate sexual abuse attorney in Huntington Beach today. Contact our West Coast office by filling out our free consultation request form or calling us directly at (800) 700-8450.