The recent Penn State sexual abuse scandal is part of a growing number of cases documenting inappropriate behavior between a trusted member of the community and a child. Sexual molestation that occurs during childhood can leave victims with severe psychological and physical damage. Reporting a case of sexual molestation can be extremely difficult for these victims as they are often too afraid or ashamed to speak out.
Nationally Recognized Sexual Abuse Lawyers – Providing legal representation to those victimized by sexual abuse & sexual assault in Pennsylvania & New Jersey.
Penn State Grand Jury Report
In litigation that drew media attention from around the world, the medical malpractice, personal injury & sexual abuse lawyers Slade McLaughlin and Paul Lauricella successfully represented 12 of the 33 victims of sexual abuse in the Penn State/Jerry Sandusky scandal. The individual settlement amounts remain confidential, but several clients were placed in the top monetary category of the claims against Penn State.
Slade McLaughlin and Paul Lauricella also represented “Billy Doe” in civil litigation against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia for covering up and enabling child molesters to gain access to Catholic school students.
Seeking legal counsel ensures that a victim of sexual assault can be provided full protection and monetary damages afforded under the law. Slade McLaughlin & Paul Lauricella can assist those who have been sexually molested and ensure that their cases are treated with the respect and sensitivity required for sex crime lawsuits. If you or a loved one has been the victim of child sexual assault in New Jersey, contact our legal team in our New Jersey office to ensure that you receive the legal counsel that you deserve.
Philadelphia attorney Slade McLaughlin is a nationally recognized expert on child sexual abuse and has been quoted in AP / USA Today – Wall Street Journal – Legal Newsline and other publications.
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Proposed Legislation in Pennsylvania Would Allow Victims of Child Abuse to Pursue Legal Claims More than Two Years After the Abuse Has Taken Place. Rep. Ron Marsico (R., Dauphin), Judiciary Committee Chair, has expressed opposition to this important pending legislation, citing constitutional concerns.
House Bill 832:
- Eliminates the statute of limitations for a number of enumerated criminal offenses involving child sexual abuse;
- Eliminates the statute of limitations in civil cases where the sexual abuse was the result of compulsion or threats made by the adult defendant to the child victim.
House Bill 878:
- Extends the statute of limitations in all civil cases not encompassed by House Bill 832 by allowing claims to be brought in court up to 32 years after the victim turns 18;
- Establishes a most important civil “window” which allows any suit that was previously barred from court solely on statute of limitations grounds to commence within the two year period of the “window.” (A suit previously brought and dismissed as being untimely could be revived upon petition and showing of newly discovered evidence, excusable neglect or other “extraordinary circumstances.”)
Cases involving sexual assault implicate numerous legal, emotional, and practical considerations. These cases often involve children or teens who been victimized by an individual who occupied a position of trust and confidence. The victims of these assaults suffer significant psychological trauma which, in turn, can lead to drug and alcohol dependency, criminal behavior, and self-destructive acts.
An attorney representing such a client must not only navigate the legal process, but must also serve as a confidant and counselor to a person who has already been victimized by those who occupied a position of confidence. The attorney must also coordinate the civil representation with any criminal prosecution. The maintenance of the civil action should complement, not complicate the criminal prosecution.