Can I prosacute my ex-husband for sexual abusing ur daughter when she was a minor.

My ex-husband sexually abused my daughter when she was a child. My
daughter has held this secret for many years and has struggled, but
now doesn’t want to attempt to get justice because she does not want
to relive it. Can I as a mother prosecute him? At the time of divorce
this was a huge concern due to his Pornography addiction and was
granted visitation with no overnights, but he still found a way to
threaten and sexually abused my daughter.

Asked on September 21, 2017 under Personal Injury, Colorado


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If she is an adult now, you cannot sue him; only she could. A mentally competent adult must bring her own lawsuits, and no one can assert claims for her. It does not matter if the harm occured when she was a child; it is her claim, not yours. While you could have brought it for her while she was a minor, since parents have legal guardianship over their minor children, once she turned 18, your authority over her and legal control lapsed. So she could bring a legal action, but you can't do so for her.
You could report this to the police and the authorities may, depending on exactly how long ago this happened and the circumstances, bring legal charges, but they are unlikely to do so if your daughter--the victim and key witness-doesn't want them to; they will likely respect her wishes in this regard.

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