COVID-19 in Nursing Homes - Learn More.

Sexual Abuse and Assault

Millions of U.S. adults and children are survivors of sexual abuse. In recent years, the number of claims of sexual abuse has increased drastically around the country. Statistics from the Rape Abuse Incest National Network (RAINN) state that there are about 293,000 cases of sexual abuse in America each year. They also reported that 68% of these abuses are not reported to police. Sexual abuse and assault are crimes punishable by years in prison and other sentences. But even if the perpetrator is incarcerated, victims are often left with lingering emotional difficulties and trauma. What recourse do they have?

If you or a loved one has been a victim of sexual violence, you deserve access to an experienced and compassionate sexual assault and abuse lawyer who is on your side and will help you seek justice against the people and institutions that were responsible for the assault and abuse.

Cases of sexual violence can bring up intense emotion and sensitive memories, not only for the victim but also for the victim’s family and witnesses. Therefore, it is important to choose a sexual assault and abuse attorney who possesses the legal knowledge, experience, and commitment needed in a sexual offense case.

Sexual abuse survivors may want to hold their perpetrators accountable as part of their path towards healing. Levin & Perconti will seek to obtain both justice and compensation for sexually abused survivors’ suffering through the civil justice system to not only hold perpetrators accountable but to also provide resources needed to effectively deal with the severe trauma of the sexual abuse. Levin & Perconti offers a concierge service available to our clients around the clock where we will customize a plan of action for you and determine your best form of recourse. Our attorneys are wholeheartedly committed to our clients.

Our Team & Services:

Attorney Megan Shore-Toca leads Levin & Perconti’s sexual abuse department. She is an experienced, compassionate, and successful advocate for victims whose rights have been violated. As a woman, wife, and daughter, Megan understands the sensitive nature of these cases, and works closely with her clients to make sure they feel comfortable and safe discussing the intimate and unfortunately embarrassing circumstances surrounding their sexual abuse. Megan and the Levin & Perconti team offer a concierge level of service where we are available to our clients around the clock. We will customize a plan of action that suits your best interests and determine your best form of recourse. We are wholeheartedly committed to our clients.

Sexual Abuse Cases We Handle:

Levin & Perconti handles many types of sexual abuse cases including the following settings:

  • Hospitals
  • Psychiatric Facilities
  • Nursing Homes
  • Community Integrated Living Facilities (CILA)
  • Day Cares
  • Massage Parlors
  • Religious Organizations
  • Schools
  • Athletic Associations
  • Department for Child & Family Services
  • Foster Homes
  • Hotels
  • Work place
  • Ride sharing
Differences Between Criminal and Civil Court for Sexual Abuse

Unfortunately, a criminal conviction for an abuser does nothing to financially compensate the abuser’s victim. For many people, this seems like the end. While abusers may pay high fines to the criminal courts, this money will not go toward your recovery. Criminal trial is focused on the accused rather than on your suffering. That’s where your civil suit comes in where your sexual abuse claim will focus on the harm done to you and the compensation you deserve.

In addition, a civil lawsuit allows you to bring the perpetrators employers and supervisors accountable for civil claims including negligent hiring and/or negligent retention.

The burden of proof is significantly less in a civil trial than in a criminal trial. In a criminal trial, the burden of proof is on the state, to show that the person is guilty of sexual abuse beyond a reasonable doubt. In a civil trial, it must only be shown that the person is guilty of sexual abuse by showing it is more likely than not that the sexual abuse occurred. Levin & Perconti will aggressively obtain evidence to support your claim of abuse.

Sex Abuse Can Take Many Forms

No matter what type of sex abuse you’ve suffered, we can help. While it may be difficult to think about what happened, if you’ve suffered any of the violent acts listed here, you should be compensated. The following are some common types of sexual abuse that lead to court claims:

  • Rape
  • Unwanted Touching – Touching with hands or objects in a sexual manner against someone’s will is a form of sexual violence and may warrant a civil claim, in addition to a criminal case.

There are other forms of sexual violence. If you believe you have been a victim, you may still have a viable claim even if what happened to you is not listed here.

Compensation for Sex Abuse

Victims of sexual abuse in can and should receive compensation for every damage they have suffered as a result of the abuse. This includes economic damages such as costs associated with treatment recovering from physical and emotional trauma.

However, sex abuse claims often involve non-economic damages, which are those that do not have a financial impact. These non-economic damages can be difficult to calculate, but our lawyers will have the tools and experience necessary to calculate them for you.

Getting compensation may not heal the emotional wounds suffered, but it can help you pay for the treatments you need while you’re handling the aftermath of your sexual abuse.

Holding an Institution Responsible for Sexual Assault

Often times, sexual assault could have been avoided by a simple background check or screening. Many institutions are required to do background checks before hiring an individual. In addition, many institutions are required to take reports of sexual abuse seriously and report the circumstances whether they believe them to be credible or not.

Unfortunately, some institutions and employers do not take reports of sexual abuse seriously and allow the perpetrators to continue abusing innocent people despite being on notice of the accused assailants sexual propensities. These instiutions can be held just as accountable as the perpetrator him or herself:

  • Hospitals
  • Psychiatric Facilities
  • Nursing Homes
  • Community Integrated Living Facility (CILA)
  • Massage Parlors
  • Religious Organizations
  • Schools
  • Athletic Associations
  • Department for Child & Family Services
  • Foster Homes
Frequently Asked Questions:

- How much will it cost to hire a lawyer to civilly prosecute my sexual abuse case?

We work with our clients on a contingency fee basis. This means we will represent you without any payment up front. Our clients only pay attorney fees if we win your case. After you win, our fee can be deducted straight from your award so you won’t have to be burdened with a bill later.

- Can I keep my name confidential?

Yes, we can file the lawsuit with your name as “Jane Doe” to keep your identity confidential from the public. However, the Defendants will need to know your name in order for both sides to exchange documents and evidence.

- Will I see my perpetrator?

It depends. In some cases, we can negotiate outside the courts to get you the settlement you deserve. In some cases, the other side will refuse to negotiate without the individual present. In this scenario, you will likely see your abuser in court. However, many survivors of sexual abuse report that they left court that day feeling empowered when they looked their abuser in the eye and told their story. In either case, your attorney will be right by your side at every moment to ensure your safety.

Common Myths:
  • An individual’s promiscuous dress or action can be the reason for sexual assault: A person’s outfit or demeanor cannot inherently translate to a sexual invitation. Consent must be verbally and explicitly stated before any sex act, or the initiator is committing assault.
  • A victim could have prevented sexual violence if he or she did not leave home: As already mentioned, an attack has nothing to do with location. Many victims have been assaulted in their own homes or the homes of close friends.
  • If the individual drinks or takes drugs, they do not have a right to sue their perpetrators: The consumption of alcohol or drugs is not a legal excuse for someone to perform sexual acts with the intoxicated.
  • To prove sexual assault, a victim must exhibit hysteria: It is wrong to assume that simply because someone is quiet, they could not possibly be a victim of sexual assault. Sexual violence may have a range of effects on a victim’s mental health, and each person will respond in their own way. Silence does not invalidate or disprove a person’s experience of abuse.
  • If a sexual assault was not immediately reported to authorities, later charges are inherently not credible: The time it takes for a victim to file a report does not correlate to the validity or authenticity of his or her sexual assault claim. Many victims, in fact, choose not to report the attack because of trauma, fear of retaliation, or worry that they may lose their jobs.
Resources:

RAINN

https://www.rainn.org/about-rainn

RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization. RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE, online.rainn.org y rainn.org/es) in partnership with more than 1,000 local sexual assault service providers across the country and operates the DoD Safe Helpline for the Department of Defense. RAINN also carries out programs to prevent sexual violence, help survivors, and ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice.

Calling the National Sexual Assault Hotline gives you access to a range of free services including:

  • Confidential support from a trained staff member
  • Support finding a local health facility that is trained to care for survivors of sexual assault and offers services like sexual assault forensic exams
  • Someone to help you talk through what happened
  • Local resources that can assist with your next steps toward healing and recovery
  • Referrals for long term support in your area
  • Information about the laws in your community
  • Basic information about medical concerns
Request a Free Consultation

Call Levin & Perconti so that we can help you determine if you may be able to recover monetary compensation for the following:

  • Any medical bills related to the abuse
  • The cost of emotional therapy
  • Emotional distress, including trauma like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Diminished quality of life
  • Pain and suffering

Levin & Perconti can help you maximize the value of your case so your suffering is fairly accounted for and you can start the healing process. Our track record speaks for itself. Contact our Illinois sexual assault and abuse team at 877-374-1417.

Testimonials
★★★★★
Margaret, Daisy and Bryan. This magnificent cohesive team led by Margaret represented us for my mom's nursing home wrongful death case. They were most patient and responded timely to many questions throughout the entire process. All demonstrated professionalism and extensive knowledge of case and state laws. Their in-depth investigative work uncovered details which were unknown to us and yet sadly confirmed our suspicions. We would recommend the Levin and Perconti Law firm and especially this team. Kathy and Ron
★★★★★
Mr. Levin, Mr. Perconti and the firm handled a medical malpractice suit for my family. During that time, my family and I suffered the loss of my mother. Mr. Levin and Mr. Peconti were more than just our lawyers. Words can’t really express our gratitude. My family and I will always be grateful for the compassion that they showed us. I want to thank you for what you did for my family, and for always being there for us. W.R., Medical Malpractice Client
★★★★★
Our deepest appreciation to the law firm of Levin & Perconti, and in particular to Margaret Battersby Black, in the handling of the lawsuit we field n behalf of our sister who sustained life-threatening injuries as a nursing home resident. Margaret’s representation, guidance, and professionalism gave us the sense that we could put our trust in Levin & Perconti and the final outcome proved that to be true. D.G., Nursing Home Client
★★★★★
I want to send my heartfelt thanks to John Perconti and the Levin & Perconti staff in taking our case. Not only were they so professional but also so caring and thoughtful. It was very difficult going over the facts in our mother's case but they were so compassionate and understanding and allowed us to be with them every step of the way. We were able to sit in on the depositions and we were really able to see how hard they worked on our behalf. M.R.Z., nursing home client
★★★★★
Mr. Levin, Mr. Perconti, and the firm handled a medical malpractice suit for my family. During that time, my family and I suffered the loss of my mother. Mr. Levin and Mr. Perconti were more than just our lawyers. Words can’t really express our gratitude. W.R., medical malpractice client