Houston Child Sexual Abuse Lawyer
What Kind of Child Sex Offenses Do We Evaluate?
Criminal defense attorneys have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the perpetrator committed the crime. A civil personal injury lawsuit has more relaxed rules. The outcome of the criminal case does not dictate the outcome of a civil case, so even if the sexual predator was not found guilty of the crime, a civil lawsuit can still be filed. At Reich & Binstock, we fight aggressively for sexually abused children and their families. Call us today at (713) 622-7271 to set up a free consultation with one of our Texas board-certified attorneys.
Children under the age of 17 cannot consent to sexual activity. Any sexual act or indecency with a minor constitutes a sex crime under the Texas penal code. Sex crimes involving children are always felonies.
Sexual Assault of a Child
Abuse involves any act that results in physical, mental, or emotional harm to a child. Sexual assault involves penetration or contact of the child’s mouth, sexual organ, or anus. It also includes any acts that cause the child to penetrate or contact the mouth, sexual organ, or anus of another party. 70% of sexual assault victims are minors. This is a second-degree felony.
Continuous Sexual Assault
At least two instances of sexual contact in a 30 day period is continuous sexual abuse. Ongoing sexual abuse of a child can result in 25 years to life in prison.
Aggravated Sexual Assault
If the victim is under the age of 14 and the abuse involved penetration or sexual contact, it is aggravated sexual assault.
Child pornography can carry a 10 year prison sentence and a sex offender registration. This crime involves any distribution, purchase, possession, or creation of pornography that depicts a minor performing sexual acts. A first offense is a third-degree felony.
Indecency With a Child
Sexual conduct that does not involve penetration is indecency with a child. This can include a sexual performance that exposes the minor’s sexual organs for the pleasure of the abuser. Depending on certain circumstances, this can be either a second-degree felony or a third-degree felony.
Failure to Report
Adults in a child’s life have a duty to report any suspected child abuse to a local law enforcement agency. Under Texas law, it is not just teachers and medical professionals who have a duty to report child abuse. Every individual who suspects child abuse must report it to protect the child and potential future victims. Failure to report this abuse can result in criminal charges.
Sexual Abuse by Trusted Figures
90% of child sexual abuse victims know their abuser. This terrifying statistic means that sexual predators can be involved in every aspect of your child’s life. At Reich and Binstock, we have experience pursuing sexual abuse cases against large organizations with successful results. Our skilled attorneys have taken on institutions like:
- Boy Scouts of America
- Members of Clergy
- Jehovah’s Witness
- LDS or Mormon Churches
- Public and Private Schools
- Summer Camps
These institutions employ people that are supposed to be a major benefit to a child’s life. When trusted adults take advantage of minors, the abused victims can have a life of fear and uncertainty ahead of them. These institutions should be held accountable for their actions that allowed these adults to commit sex crimes against minors.
Effects of Sexual Abuse
Child sex abuse victims often have life-long effects, including mental health issues and substance abuse problems. Sexual abuse as a child can lead to issues in intimate relationships as an adult. Unplanned and unwanted pregnancies as a minor can be devastating to the victim’s mental health. Depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, low self-esteem, and suicidal ideations are only a few of the mental issues that torment child sexual abuse victims. Many victims can’t understand the full scope of what happened to them until later in life.
Extended Statute of Limitations for Child Sexual Abuse Claims
The Texas legal system took a major step forward in 2019 with the passing of HB 3809. This bill extended the statute of limitations for sexually abused children. Previously, people who were abused as children could only pursue civil suits for 15 years after their 18th birthday. With HB 3809, child sex abuse victims have 30 years to file a civil suit against both the abuser and any institution that was liable for the abuse. This helps children and adults get the help they need to heal before subjecting themselves to a traumatic court case.
If you or a loved one experienced child sex crimes, don’t hesitate to contact the experienced child sexual abuse attorneys at Reich & Binstock.
Compensation for Child Sexual Abuse Victims
Monetary compensation can be pursued in all civil actions involving sexual abuse. While money does nothing to cure physical or mental trauma caused by sexual abuse, it may help reduce the costs of recovery from it. Damages can vary in sexual assault cases depending on circumstances relating to the case. At Reich & Binstock, we pursue economic and non-economic damages such as:
- Medical expenses, including therapy and psychological care
- Lost wages, including loss of future income potential due to injuries
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
Houston Attorneys for Sexual Abuse Victims
Speaking up about sexual abuse, especially child sexual abuse, can be a terrifying situation. Speaking out can help you save future victims and get the help you need to heal. Money cannot change what happened, but it can hold the abuser accountable and help child abuse victims with closure.
Call Reich & Binstock at (713) 622-7271 to schedule a free consultation. We can help you determine what kind of damages you can recover from the abuser and the organizations that helped them.