Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin. Wisconsin sexual abuse also occurs at schools, camps, nursing homes, mental health facilities, and other places where circumstances allow. One example which falls under both categories is the case of Sister Norma Giannini, the nun who was principal of St. Patrick’s School in Milwaukee and was convicted of sexually abuse two male students. 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.


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 Wisconsin 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, adults suffer as well. At nursing homes and mental health facilities all over Wisconsin, social workers and psychologists take advantage of the vulnerable adults that they are supposed to be protecting. In 2011, jail staff was charged with the sexual abuse of prison detainees for example. Fortunately, the perpetrators can be made to pay for their transgressions. 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. 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.


Wisconsin’s Civil Statute of Limitations on Sexual Abuse

Wisconsin 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.

893.58 Actions concerning seduction. All actions for damages for seduction shall be commenced within one year after the cause of action accrues or be barred.


893.585 Sexual exploitation by a therapist.

(1) Notwithstanding ss. 893.54, 893.55, and 893.57, an action under s. 895.441 for damages shall be commenced within 3 years after the cause of action accrues or be barred.

(2) If a person entitled to bring an action under s. 895.441 is unable to bring the action due to the effects of the sexual contact or due to any threats, instructions, or statements from the therapist, the period of inability is not part of the time limited for the commencement of the action, except that this subsection shall not extend the time limitation by more than 15 years.

(3) This section does not apply to damages incurred under s. 895.442.


893.587 Sexual assault of a child; limitation. An action to recover damages for injury caused by an act that would constitute a violation of s. 948.02, 948.025, 948.06,948.085, or 948.095 or would create a cause of action under s. 895.442 shall be commenced before the injured party reaches the age of 35 years or be barred.



  • The New York Times. February 2, 2008. Wisconson: Nun Jailed for Sexual Abuse.
  • Northwest Herald. April 15, 2011. County Jail Named in Abuse Complaint.
  • Wisconsin Legislative Data: https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov