As victims have made revelations about long-buried cases of childhood sexual abuse, many have run into an obstacle to their pursuit of justice: Ohio’s statute of limitations on childhood sexual assault cases.
Unfortunately, it can take years or even decades before a survivor of childhood sexual abuse is ready to come forward. This makes it difficult for survivors of childhood sexual assault to seek justice for the trauma and suffering they experienced.
While many states have relaxed their statute of limitations on childhood sexual assault, Ohio has not. This has led to many childhood sexual abuse cases being dismissed because the statute of limitations expired.
Like most other states, Ohio has a statute of limitations for child sexual abuse cases. But Ohio’s statute of limitations is one of the shortest in the country. Because of this, victims must act quickly to seek justice.
A statute of limitations is a law that sets the time period within which a victim must file a lawsuit against an offender. Statutes of limitations apply to almost all claims and exist to protect defendants from being sued years after an event occurred. When a victim waits too long to file a lawsuit after an incident of child molestation, people’s memories could fade, witnesses could die, and evidence could degrade or disappear. Unfortunately, because it often takes years before a survivor of childhood sexual abuse is ready to come forward, many victims are unable to pursue justice.
The current civil statute of limitations on childhood sexual assault cases in Ohio is set at 12 years from the date of the incident. In most cases, the 12-year statute of limitations begins when the victim turns 18, meaning a victim must file a childhood sexual abuse case by the time they are 30.
A minor who experienced child molestation can file a lawsuit before their 18th birthday.
The criminal statute of limitations on childhood sexual assault cases is set at age 43. A victim can gain an additional five years to file criminal charges if DNA evidence is discovered within 25 years after the child molestation occurred.
Ohio does recognize some exceptions to the statute of limitations on childhood sexual assault, but these exceptions do not apply in every situation.
Mentally impaired individuals who experience childhood sexual abuse between the ages of 18 and 22 have 12 years in which to file a childhood sexual abuse lawsuit, which means they could have until their 34th birthday to file a lawsuit.
People who experienced childhood sexual assault may be entitled to financial compensation for:
Filing a childhood sexual abuse case allows victims of child molestation to obtain financial compensation from their abuser and accountability from the people who harmed them. The Robenalt Law Firm, Inc. files childhood sexual abuse lawsuits against child sex abusers throughout the country, often taking cases where institutions ignored behavior that indicates child molestation was occurring.
Childhood sexual abuse can inflict significant trauma and leave emotional scars that last a lifetime. If you experienced childhood sexual abuse, you are entitled to justice and may be able to recover financial compensation for those responsible for the harm they caused.
Cleveland attorney Tom Robenalt has extensive experience handling childhood sexual abuse cases. He seeks justice for people who experienced child molestation and provides guidance and legal representation to help them navigate the legal system and obtain justice for the trauma they endured.
If you or someone you love experienced childhood sexual abuse, The Robenalt Law Firm, Inc. wants to help you seek justice from the people responsible for harming you. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your childhood sexual abuse case. Call (216) 223-7535, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or use our online form.
The Robenalt Law Firm, Inc. represents people in Cleveland, Columbus, Toledo, and Akron, and throughout Ohio. In most cases, there is no fee unless we win.