In Oregon, A Marion County Circuit Court judge added $3 million in punitive damages to the $1.5 million jury awarded to a woman who filed a sex abuse lawsuit against her stepfather. The woman, now 24, says her stepfather began sexually abusing her when she was 11 or 12.
In her lawsuit, she accuses Edward Webb of sexually molesting her and touching her inappropriately, until she was about 14 years old. While Webb is not facing criminal charges for the alleged abuse because the statute of limitations for child abuse crimes had expired, she was able to sue her stepfather under a state law that allows adults to sue people that abused them when they were children.
Child Sex Abuse
Sexual abuse can cause serious physical and emotional injury to victims. Many children who are the victims of sex abuse are too scared to speak up or may repress the memories of the abuse for years. Regardless, the emotional scars from being sexually abused can last a lifetime.
A sexual abuse victim may suffer from depression, an eating disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, drug addiction, alcoholism, have problems with sexual intimacy, or find it hard to form intimate relationships. The financial and emotional tolls that these illnesses and issues can wreak on a person’s life can be very high. In many cases, the abuser is someone the victim knows, such as a family member, a family friend, a priest, a teacher, a coach, a doctor, a counselor, a daycare supervisor, or another “trusted” adult.
If your son or daughter was the victim of child sexual abuse or you were sexually abused as a child, there are legal options available to you. Not only may you be able to hold the abuser liable in civil court by filing an Oregon sexual abuse lawsuit, but there may be other parties, such as a church, a school district, or another entity that can also be held liable for personal injury.
Woman Awarded $4.5 Million in Sex Abuse Case, The World Link, November 11, 2008
Woman Awarded $4.5 Million in Sex Abuse Case, NRToday.com, November 11, 2008
Related Web Resources:
Oregon Department of Human Services
Child Sexual Abuse, American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry