Rhode Island Sexual Abuse

Many people have suffered sexual abuse at the hands of someone they trusted. Many of us are familiar with cases of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church due to several media publicized cases of priest sexual abuse, but church sex scandals are just one example of an issue that affects many in Rhode Island. Rhode Island sexual abuse also occurs at schools, camps, nursing homes, mental health facilities, and other places where circumstances allow. Sexual abuse is so prominent in Rhode Island that Dr. Maya Angelou, celebrated autobiographer, poet, and civil rights activist, spoke to Rhode Islanders at a benefit for Day One, a sexual abuse treatment center. Speaking out about sexual abuse is important in two ways: It can stop the abuser from hurting others and it helps bring a sense of closure for the victim. Speaking out can feel intimidating, but you and your loved ones are not alone. Lawyers such as Sam Rogatinsky specialize in helping you find your voice in court.


Sexual Abuse

Unlike clergy abuse, sexual abuse can be perpetrated by anyone and occur anywhere. The most common places for sexual abuse to occur are schools, camps, nursing homes, mental health facilities, group homes, and organizations such as the Boy and Girl Scouts of America. Countless children have been sexually abused in Rhode Island by those who were entrusted with their care, such as teachers, Boy Scout leaders, camp counselors, and so on. These adults are supposed to protect children, but instead cause them harm, such as teacher and softball coach David M. Paiva who pleaded no contest to sexually assaulting a student in Barrington, Rhode Island.

Adults are also sexually abused. At nursing homes and mental health facilities all over Rhode Island, social workers and psychologists take advantage of the vulnerable adults that they are supposed to be protecting. Fortunately, the perpetrators can be made to pay for the pain they have caused, but you must seek representation. Sam will help to make sure that everything possible is done to assure that your suffering has not been in vain.


Clergy Abuse

Although the Catholic Church is not the only venue for sexual abuse, it has been the most publicized due to the lack of bishop accountability. When the media picked up on the fact that bishops were just moving sexually abusive priests to another church, news outlets ran with the story. The truth is that clergy abuse includes not only Catholic priests, but rabbis, ministers, reverends, pastors, office staff at places of worship, religious youth directors, and anyone who works for a place of worship, such as convicted child molester and Jewish clergyman Cantor Stanley Rosenfeld, who was sent to prison for sexually abusing a boy he was supposed to be training for his Bar Mitzvah. Another example was the case of 38 Rhode Island plaintiffs who sought damages from the Diocese of Providence for knowingly allowing clerical sexual abuse to continue. If you or someone you know has been sexually abused by someone in this category, you now have an avenue of help available to you. You do not have to be a victim anymore. Contact Sam to find out how you can take control of what happened and help make sure it doesn’t happen to others.


Rhode Island Sexual Abuse and Clergy Abuse Statute of Limitations

The state of Rhode Island makes a distinction between the claims against the perpetrator and claims against the non-perpetrators. For claims against the actual abuser, there is a 7-year statute of limitations for injuries that were caused by sexual abuse.

Rhode Island recognizes the discovery rule and allows a period of 7 years from when the victim discovered or reasonably should have discovered that his/her injuries were caused by the sexual abuse.

If you want to file against a non perpetrator like a school or camp or a church, you will have a 3 year statute of limitation and the claims must be filed under the general tort statute of limitations. Claims against non-perpetrators must be brought under the general tort statute of limitations. Suits must be filed within 3 years of the acts constituting negligence. .

It is important to note that the Rhode Island discovery rule does not extend to claims against non-perpetrator defendants for damages arising from childhood sexual abuse and are governed by the general three-year statute of limitations for personal injuries.

If you were sexually abused by a priest, rabbi, coach, psychologist or any other person who sexually abused you, please don’t feel ashamed. We want to help you.


Contact me, sexual abuse lawyer Samuel Rogatinsky at (954) 995-3805 or send an email to  samr@sexabuseattorney.org