San Francisco Police Sexual Abuse Lawyer
A police officer should be someone you can trust and rely on for help in an emergency. If you get taken advantage of and sexually abused or assaulted by a police officer in San Francisco, you may not know where to turn for assistance. At Manly, Stewart & Finaldi, we are committed to giving survivors of sexual abuse a voice in the justice system. We are here for you, and we will believe you.
Why You Need to Hire a San Francisco Police Sexual Abuse Attorney
Going up against the police in any type of civil case is not an easy feat. It can be especially difficult to hold the police and other government entities accountable for sexual abuse and sex crimes. The best way to strengthen your odds of success is to work with an experienced police sexual abuse lawyer in San Francisco.
A lawyer can take the burden of the legal process from your shoulders, alleviating stress during this already difficult time. You can trust your attorney to use proven legal strategies and aggressively defend your rights. Your lawyer will investigate the incident, collect evidence and deal with confusing legal paperwork for you while you focus on healing.
What Is Sexual Abuse?
Sexual abuse in San Francisco refers to sexual acts forced upon a victim without his or her consent. It also refers to consensual sexual activity between two people with a fundamental imbalance of power, such as a police officer and someone who has been arrested or is in jail. Sexual abuse can involve any type of sex crime, from inappropriate touching and exposure of the genitals to rape and forced penetration. California’s definition of sexual assault is to touch the intimate part of another person without consent for the purpose of sexual arousal, gratification or abuse.
Sexual abuse often involves a perpetrator taking advantage of a position of trust or power over the victim to commit sex crimes. The police in San Francisco hold authoritative positions in the community. This can make an officer feel untouchable, as if he or she were above the law. In the same regard, it can make a victim feel helpless, with nowhere to turn for assistance. It is important to know that a police officer is not untouchable, however. All victims of sexual abuse have the right to bring lawsuits against offenders, including a perpetrator who works for the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD).
Examples of Police Sexual Abuse
Police sexual abuse or assault against a civilian could take place during a traffic stop, arrest, criminal investigation or routine check. A perpetrator may take advantage of someone in a vulnerable position, such as a detainee, a victim of domestic violence or a child. Sexual abuse can also exist between two officers within the San Francisco Police Department, such as two coworkers or a supervisor against a subordinate. Mentor or internship programs can also expose a victim to sexual abuse or misconduct by a higher-up in the department.
Examples of police sexual abuse include:
- Any sexual activity (including consensual) between an officer and someone who is detained
- Inappropriate touching, groping or fondling
- Touching a victim’s private parts, including a female’s breasts
- Forcing a victim to touch the officer’s private parts
- Unwanted or violent sexual activity with a coworker or supervisor
- Sexual harassment in the workplace, including discrimination based on sex
- Propositions for sexual activity or requests for sexual favors
- Threatening or blackmailing a victim into complying with sexual requests
- Rape, attempted rape or statutory rape
- Sodomy or forced penetration
- Forced oral copulation
Being in a law enforcement position does not allow an officer to sexually abuse others – including people who have been arrested or detained by the police. Whether police sexual abuse occurs between an officer and a civilian or between two cops in the workplace, the victim has rights. All types of sexual assault, abuse and harassment are against the law in California. You can report sexual abuse in policing and file a civil lawsuit to force the perpetrator to face consequences for sexual misconduct.
How to Report Police Sexual Abuse in San Francisco
If you have suffered sexual abuse by a police officer, put your well-being first by going to a hospital right away. Tell the doctor what happened and request a sexual assault forensic exam. This is a comprehensive exam conducted by a trained medical professional to treat you for any injuries, search for signs of sexual assault, take official photographs for the record and collect any evidence from your person. This may include DNA evidence from the perpetrator. You must receive this exam within at least five days of the incident. Try not to change your clothes or bathe beforehand.
Tell someone what happened and get the emotional support that you need from a friend, counselor or sexual abuse hotline. Next, before you file a report or attempt to take legal action, consult with an attorney about your case. Since you may need to file a report with the same police department where the perpetrator works, having an attorney by your side can be helpful. An attorney can make you more credible to the police and force the person who is taking your report to do things by the book – even if the perpetrator is his or her friend or coworker.
Your attorney can properly investigate the incident and take action against the offending officer or the SFPD as a whole. You can help by collecting evidence and information about the sexual abuse early on. Write down a detailed description of events, including the names of anyone involved and any witnesses. If you were working at the SFPD at the time and complained to a supervisor about what was happening, include this in your files, as well. Write down the name of the person you spoke with and how the police department responded (or failed to respond) to your complaint.
Contact Our Police Sexual Abuse Attorneys in San Francisco Today
If you or someone you love has been sexually abused by a police officer in San Francisco, contact Manly, Stewart & Finaldi for a free and 100-percent confidential consultation. Our sexual abuse attorneys can help you go up against the San Francisco Police Department to demand justice for the crime committed against you by an officer or coworker. Our San Francisco police sexual harassment attorneys do not back down from a fight. Call (800) 700-8450 today to find out how we can help.