Far too many perpetrators of sexual abuse and assault have escaped justice. Whether due to the institutions that employ sexual abusers covering up their actions, or due to survivors being intimidated into silence, thousands of cases of sexual abuse and assault go unreported every year.
Our team here at Grewal Law PLLC wants to help put an end to this phenomenon. Below, we discuss how to seek justice against sexual abusers.
Crimes Considered Sexual Abuse and Assault
Sexual abuse and assault may include any non-consensual sexual act with an adult or any sexual contact at all with a child.
Examples of sexual abuse and assault include:
- Coercing someone to partake in a sexual act
- Rape, including statutory rape
- Committing sexual acts with someone who cannot consent
- Sexual battery and aggravated sexual assault
- Inappropriate touching of another person’s body
- Indecent exposure/exposure of genitals to a child or adult
- Creating or displaying child pornography
- Incest and all incestuous acts, regardless of “consent”
- Using drugs and/or alcohol to sexually assault someone
- “Grooming” a child or teenager
Sexual Abuse Statute of Limitations
There are different statute of limitations for lawsuits that are filed in civil court, by private attorneys, such as Grewal Law, and for lawsuits filed in criminal court by a prosecutor. Only a prosecutor can file criminal charges for sexual assault.
Michigan’s statute of limitations for civil sexual assault is generally two years after the date of incident for adults. For a child who younger than 18 years of age at the time of assault, the law allows until the child’s 19th birthday, or two years after the date of incident, whichever is later, to file a lawsuit. The time period may be extended to 5 years after the assault if the victim was residing with or in a dating relationship with their abuser.
A recent change in the law pertaining to civil statutes of limitations, which only applies to instances of abuse occurring after June 11, 2018, also may extend the time file a civil suit up to 10 years for actions characterized as “criminal sexual conduct.” The law states it is not necessary for a criminal case to be filed in this instance. This provision has not been fully fleshed out in the Michigan court system yet and it remains to be seen how effective this change may be for survivors of sexual assault.
Michigan’s statute of limitations for criminal sexual assault varies depending on the crime and also when the crime occurred. The statute of limitations is generally much longer in the criminal context. If the assault happened after September 10, 2018, the statute of limitations for various sexual assault crimes are as follows:
- Criminal sexual conduct, first degree: There is no time limit to commence legal proceedings.
- Criminal sexual conduct, second degree: For attempted violations when the survivor is 18 years of age or younger, an indictment must be filed within 10 years after the offense or by the survivor’s 21st birthday, whichever is later. When the survivor is over 18 years of age, an indictment must be filed within 6 years after the assault.
- For violations when the survivor is 18 years of age or younger, an indictment must be filed within 15 years after the offense or by the survivor’s 28th birthday, whichever is later.
- Criminal sexual conduct, third degree: Same as above.
- Criminal sexual conduct, fourth degree: For a violation, or attempted violation when the survivor is under 18 years of age, an indictment must be filed within 10 years after the offense or by the survivor’s 21st birthday, whichever is later. When the survivor is over 18 years of age, an indictment must be filed within 6 years after the assault.
- Assault with intent to commit criminal sexual conduct: If the survivor is under the age of 18 at the time of offense, an indictment must be filed within 10 years after the offense, or by the survivor’s 21st birthday, whichever is later. When the survivor is over 18 years of age, an indictment must be filed within 6 years after the assault.
This list is not exhaustive, and there are be several exceptions that exist to these requirements. This is why it’s in your best interest to work with an experienced attorney who can protect your rights during this process.
At Grewal Law PLLC, our Michigan attorneys have the experience needed to seek and fight for justice against perpetrators of sexual abuse and assault. We represented one-third of the first wave of plaintiffs in the Larry Nassar case and achieved a $500 million settlement for them. We’re now pursuing similar claims against former U of M physician Robert E. Anderson.
We’re here to help you through this. Contact Grewal Law PLLC today at (888) 211-5798 to schedule a free, confidential consultation with our team.