Wyoming 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 Wyoming. Wyoming sexual abuse occurs at schools, camps, nursing homes, mental health facilities, and other places where circumstances allow. For example, former Campbell County, Wyoming Fire Chief Gary Scott was convicted of sexually abusing cadets in a junior firefighter program he initiated in the early 1990s. He sexually abused Wyoming youth through this program until some of the abused spoke out in 2007. 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 Wyoming 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, such as former highway trooper, Jay Gruwell, convicted of sexually abusing a 5-year-old girl.
Children are not the only victims, however. At nursing homes and mental health facilities all over Wyoming, social workers and psychologists take advantage of the vulnerable adults that they are supposed to be protecting. Fortunately, they 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.
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.
Wyoming’s Civil Statute of Limitations on Sexual Abuse
Wyoming 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 legally penalize the abuser.
1-3-105. Actions other than recovery of real property.
(a) Civil actions other than for the recovery of real property can only be brought within the following periods after the cause of action accrues:
(i) Within ten (10) years, an action upon a specialty or any contract, agreement or promise in writing;
(ii) Within eight (8) years, an action:
(A) Upon a contract not in writing, either express or implied; or
(B) Upon a liability created by statute other than a forfeiture or penalty.
(iii) Within five (5) years after the debtor establishes residence in Wyoming, an action on a foreign claim, judgment or contract, express or implied, contracted or incurred and accrued before the debtor became a resident of Wyoming;
(iv) Within four (4) years, an action for:
(A) Trespass upon real property;
(B) The recovery of personal property or for taking, detaining or injuring personal property;
(C) An injury to the rights of the plaintiff, not arising on contract and not herein enumerated; and
(D) For relief on the ground of fraud.
(v) Within one (1) year, an action for:
(A) Libel or slander;
(B) Assault or battery not including sexual assault;
(C) Malicious prosecution or false imprisonment; or
(D) Upon a statute for a penalty or forfeiture, except that if a different limitation is prescribed in the statute by which the remedy is given the action shall be brought within the period prescribed by the statute.
(b) Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, a civil action based upon sexual assault as defined by W.S. 6-2-301(a)(v) against a minor may be brought within the later of:
(i) Eight (8) years after the minor’s eighteenth birthday; or
(ii) Three (3) years after the discovery.
- Wyoming News. Accused fire chief has ties to county. http://www.wyomingnews.com/articles/2007/08/10/local_news_updates/19local_08-10-07.txt
- Former highway trooper’s conviction upheld. http://www.westport-news.com/news/article/Wyoming-Supreme-Court-upholds-trooper-s-conviction-1341762.php
- Wyoming Legislative Data: http://legisweb.state.wy.us/statutes/statutes.aspx?file=titles/Title1/T1CH3.htm