How long can someone sue after they had been sexually abused asa child?

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How long can someone sue after they had been sexually abused asa child?

A woman was abused until she was 12 years old by her grandfather. She tried to press charges and sue when she was 17 years old; the family convinced her to drop the charges. Then when she was an adult, 19, she decided to file again but the attorney told her she couldn’t press charges because it had been over 3 years. Is there anything she can do now? Was she led wrong? She was still a minor the first time the charges were pressed.

Asked on July 24, 2011 Utah

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The question you are asking about concerns a criminal action as opposed to a civil action.

This woman should have a meeting with law enforcement about what happended to her as a child and have a report written. The district attorney's office will review the report and decide whether a criminal filing against the grandfather is warranted taking into account any possible State bar for the alleged crime under applicable statute of limitations.

As to a possible civil lawsuit, different States have different time periods for a personal injury arising when a person is a minor and when it starts running when the minor becomes an adult.

It is recommended that this woman immediately consult with a personal injury lawyer in the State she lives in about a possible civil action against her grandfather and whether any applicable statute of limitations barring a civil lawsuit have run.


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