West Virginia Sexual Abuse
Many people have suffered sexual abuse at the hands of an individual trusted by the abused or the abused person’s family. Most 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 West Virginia. West Virginia sexual abuse also occurs at schools, camps, nursing homes, mental health facilities, and other places where circumstances allow. For example, Deputy Perry S. Layne of the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Department was charged with two counts of first-degree sexual abuse and investigators suspect there are more victims. Speaking out about sexual abuse is important in two ways: It helps prevent the abuser from hurting anyone else and it helps bring a sense of closure for the abused. Speaking out can be scary, but you and your loved ones are not alone. Lawyers such as Sam Rogatinsky specialize in helping you find your voice in court.
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 West Virginia 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 they willfully harm them.
Children are not the only victims, however. At nursing homes and mental health facilities all over West Virginia, 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 their transgressions, but you must seek representation. Statistics show that only 1 in 6 sexual assaults are reported. Don’t be one of the five who remain silent. Sam will help to make sure that everything possible is done to assure that your suffering has not been in vain.
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. 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.
West Virginia’s Civil Statute of Limitations on Sexual Abuse
West Virginia has its own statute of limitations regarding sexual abuse. This statute of limitations places a cap on the length of time in which someone can be taken to civil court for having committed sexual abuse. It is important to take action before the statute of limitations runs out, leaving no other way to make the abuser pay.
§55-2-15. General saving as to persons under disability.
If any person to whom the right accrues to bring any such personal action, suit or scire facias, or any such bill to repeal a grant, shall be, at the time the same accrues, an infant or insane, the same may be brought within the like number of years after his becoming of full age or sane that is allowed to a person having no such impediment to bring the same after the right accrues, or after such acknowledgment as is mentioned in section eight of this article, except that it shall in no case be brought after twenty years from the time when the right accrues.
- The Journal. April 1, 2011. Deputy Indicted in Abuse Case in Court.
- West Virginia Legislative Data: https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov
- Sexual Assault in West Virginia: An Information Handbook: http://www.fris.org/Sections/07-Publications/PDFs/Books/SexAssaultHandbook.pdf