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Holding Child Molesters Accountable Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help


Sexual Abuse of Children: The Under- and Unreported Epidemic

According to some studies, as many as 3-5% of American children may be victims of sexual abuse. Many of these victims were abused by pedophiles–adults whose fantasies and sexual satisfaction is targeted to prepubescent children–that is children who have not yet gone through puberty and usually age 13 or younger. Contrary to what some popular internet postings claim, no one can identify pedophiles by looking at their eyes, smiles or body language. Some experts estimate that the average pedophile has 100 to 200 victims before they are stopped. This is because pedophiles are not generally “dirty old men.” They are instead very likeable, trusted and respected individuals who have spent their entire lives working their way into the very positions where they have unsupervised access to children. This is why we hear about priests, coaches, doctors, teachers, Sunday school teachers, youth leaders, and others thought to be beyond reproach having victimized dozens or hundreds of children before they are reported or caught. And, when caught, the pedophile often escapes repercussions or punishment because it is so unbelievable that such a respected person could even be accused of such heinous conduct. Others quickly defend the pedophile while the child victim is often quickly labeled a fraud or a bad apple.

Child sex abuse victims need support and advocacy because the consequences of being a victim of child sex abuse can be devastating. Yet children feel so guilty (and often loyal to the abuser who has developed an unnatural relationship with them) that sex abuse of children often goes unreported unless someone else catches the abuser in the act. These abusers fantasize about sex with children rather than adults and have no internal boundary that prevents them from satisfying their fantasies so that whenever external checks and supervision is not there to stop them, they act on their fantasies by preying on the innocence of children.

Child molestation attorney

Cases that gain high profile in the media often involve the criminal prosecution of the perpetrators of child molestation and sex abuse. Criminal prosecution may punish sex offenders and make society safer, but it does not help the victims and their families for the horrendous wrong suffered. To receive compensation, families must pursue civil action against child molesters and/or institutions that failed to take preventative actions to prevent offenders from committing child abuse. A child molestation attorney can file a civil lawsuit on behalf of the family’s child for recovery of hospital and medical costs, physical injury arising out of sexual assault, and treatment for the devastating psychological impact most children experience from such incidents.

Ken Lewis at the Texas law firm of Bush Lewis has decades of experience handling child sex abuse cases throughout Texas and in other states. He knows about the hidden and repressed emotional and psychological damage from such abuse. Equally important, he knows how to sort out the possible insurance and assets available and to determine who has ultimate financial responsibility. Ken Lewis and his team of Bush Lewis lawyers can help you take legal action with their skills as experienced child molestation attorneys.

What is child molestation?

Child molestation, child sex abuse, and child sexual assault all describe unlawful contact or interaction with children for sexual stimulation. Incest, rape, statutory rape, date rape and child pornography are specific sex crimes that are often involved in child molestation.

State courts usually have criminal jurisdiction over sex crimes except those that are handled by federal courts because they involve child pornography, human trafficking or other interstate crimes. Sex criminal laws vary in terms, definitions and punishments. Child molesters may be sued for damages based on intentional infliction of emotional distress, assault, battery, false imprisonment, and sexual assault or other charges specific to the jurisdiction hearing the civil case. Institutions that owe a duty of care to a child and fail to protect children against child molestation may also be subject to lawsuits. Examples of such institutions include public and private schools, daycare centers, churches, youth organizations, and social organizations. To evaluate the prospects of pursuing a civil suit, a child molestation attorney must look into and assess sources of compensation, such as a child molester’s assets or income or an institution’s liability insurance policy. Bush Lewis attorneys handle child molestation cases nationwide.

Facts about child sex abuse

The National Center for Victims of Crime reports:
  • Child sexual abuse is reported approximately 90,000 times a year.
  • The numbers of unreported abuses are much higher than reported abuses because children are afraid to talk about abuse and the legal process to confirm an incident is complex.
  • An estimated one in four girls and one in five boys have experienced sexual abuse while under the age of 18.
  • The percentage of sexual assault victims reported to law enforcement that were juveniles in the year 2000 were 67 percent and 34 percent were under age 12.
  • One out of seven child victims of sexual assault were under age six. Forty percent of the offenders victimizing these under age children were also juveniles.
  • A study in three states revealed that 96 percent of reported rape survivors under age 12 knew their attackers.
The International Child Abuse Network reports the following statistics about child predators and sex offenders:
  • The typical child sex offender molests an average of 117 children, most of whom do not report the offense (National Institute of Mental Health, 1988).
  • It is estimated that approximately 71 % of child sex offenders are under 35 and knew the victim at least casually. About 80 % of these individuals fall within normal intelligence ranges; 59% gain sexual access to their victims through, seduction or enticement (Burgess & Groth, 1984).
  • Stress indicators such as unrealistic expectations of a child, unemployment and low self-esteem are important characteristics in perpetrators of child abuse (Health & Human Services, 1993).
  • Approximately 60 % of the male survivors’ samples report at least one of their perpetrators to be female (Mendel, 1993).
The FBI reports that sex offenders often use pornography to desensitize and victimize children by making then think that sex between children and adults is normal. Today the internet is frequently used as a means of seducing children.

Without treatment, sexually abused children can be mentally scarred for life, often repressing memories of the abuse. According to The National Center for Victims of Crime victims may develop substance abuse, self-mutilation and eating disorders as coping mechanisms to deal with the horror of their sex abuse. Ken Lewis is also a member of the National Crime Victim Bar Association (NCVBA), which offers assistance to lawyers in civil cases who represent crime victims of sexual assaults and other intentional torts.

Take legal action against child molestation

Seeing that your child gets the medical and therapeutic care necessary to recover from child sex abuse can be expensive. Dealing with a child molestation lawsuit may seem somewhat overwhelming, but seeking compensation through a civil suit may be the most practical way to cover such costs. In addition to helping you overcome financial hardships caused by the molestation, you also hold the sex offender accountable and lessen the probability of another child experiencing a similar misfortune at the hands of the same repeat offender.

Contact a child molestation attorney at Bush Lewis for a free initial consultation. Ken Lewis represents child molestation victims in lawsuits throughout Texas and nationwide to try to help them obtain compensation and protect others through the justice system. Refusing to honor the most fundamental of boundaries that protect our children cannot be allowed.

Know This Before An Accident

No one plans to have an accident and no one expects to sustain a serious injury or lose a loved one to death from someone else's actions or mistake. It helps to at least have heard what experienced lawyers say you can do to ease the situation. At Bush Lewis, we think there are some helpful guidelines that we recommend to you. Our lawyers suggest: Learn more.