Unfortunately, not all police officers protect and serve the public; some abuse their power by sexually abusing innocent victims. Sexual assault by police can occur during an investigation of a crime when a suspect is in custody or during a traffic stop. There have been instances of police officers sexually assaulting suspects, those in police custody, and even victims of crimes.
Michael LoGiudice is an experienced sexual abuse attorney. If you have been the victim of a sexual assault, you may have the right to pursue damages through a civil lawsuit. He will know what steps you should take to hold the police officer and any other at-fault party accountable while pursuing justice for you. The deadlines for filing a claim can be strict, so it’s crucial you speak to an attorney as soon as possible.
Common Examples of Sexual Abuse By Police
Police officers have significant authority. When an officer has a badge and is carrying a gun, it can be difficult for civilians to resist sexual assault, even when it’s clear the officer is acting outside the scope of his job.
Officers may engage in sexual harassment, oral sex, fondling, and rape. Sexual assault may be considered a form of police brutality. Some police officers take advantage of their power and authority and assault members of the public in the following ways.
Incidents of sexual assault occur during routine traffic stops. When few witnesses are around, or the stop happens at night, a police officer may feel emboldened to sexually assault a victim.
Other instances of sexual assault occur after a person has been arrested and is in the police officer’s custody. The victim may be handcuffed, making it impossible for him or her to attempt to protect himself or herself.
In other cases, victims of sexual assault were job shadowing an officer or interning with a police department when the assault occurred. Many of these victims are young and vulnerable.
Damages Survivors Can Pursue in Police Sexual Assault Lawsuits
If a police officer has sexually assaulted you, prosecutors may file criminal charges against the perpetrator. In addition to facing criminal charges, the officer can also face civil consequences. Victims can pursue a separate personal injury lawsuit against the officer. The civil system is designed to help victims recover compensation for the economic and non-economic damages incurred due to sexual assault.
Recovering financial compensation through a civil lawsuit can help you and your family heal and move forward. Attorney Michael LoGiudice can provide you with an estimate of the potential value of your civil lawsuit after carefully listening to the details of your case. Some of the types of damages you may be able to pursue through a civil lawsuit include the following:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Los of companionship
- Disability and disfigurement
- Punitive damages
The Consent Defense
Police officers accused of sexual assault may claim that the plaintiff consented to the sexual assault. However, this defense is weak because true consent isn’t possible when a civilian is under the authority of a police officer. Civilians may understandably be concerned for their safety if they fight back. A police officer may retaliate even more and put the civilian at risk of further injury or death. Michael LoGiudice, LLP is prepared to effectively pursue compensation and provide evidence disproving any of the defendant’s arguments.
What Steps Should I Take to Obtain Compensation?
Surviving sexual assault by a police officer is often traumatizing and destabilizing. Many survivors may not know what steps to take next, especially when in shock. There are some critical steps survivors can take immediately after a sexual assault by a police officer. These steps can help survivors obtain the medical care they need to recover physically and emotionally. They can also help survivors maximize the financial compensation they can receive.
Seek Immediate Medical Attention
Seeking immediate medical attention is crucial, including obtaining a rape kit from a sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE), or a highly qualified registered nurse (RN). If the hospital you are receiving care in doesn’t have a rape kit available, you should go to another one that does or request a SANE nurse and wait for one to arrive. It’s crucial you don’t change your clothes, brush your hair, or shower. When you are at the hospital, you should ask the staff for a Special Victims Unit (SVU) member from a nearby police precinct to come to the hospital and take your report.
Gather All Available Evidence
If possible, you should take photos of where the sexual assault occurred, including the surrounding areas. Many businesses use surveillance cameras 24 hours a day. Working with an experienced civil rights attorney can help you identify, request, preserve, and use surveillance footage to help you prove that a sexual assault occurred.
It’s essential that you don’t post any social media updates, photos, or videos that mention the sexual assault or your lawsuit. After you’ve taken all of the steps mentioned above, you should schedule a consultation with an experienced police sexual assault attorney as soon as you can.
An agent from the insurance company representing the officer and their police department may offer you a far too low settlement, hoping you will accept it. However, when you have Michael LoGiudice on your side, he will help you understand the true value of your claim. He can begin handling all communications with the insurance adjuster and begin negotiations on your behalf while you focus on your recovery.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
Attorney Michael LoGiudice, LLP has been fighting for the rights of victims who’ve been violated by abuse of power for decades. He has extensive experience obtaining favorable outcomes for survivors of sexual assault by police in New York City. He will pursue the maximum financial compensation for you and the justice you deserve through every step of the process. If you’ve been abused by a police officer in New York City, don’t hesitate to contact Michael LoGiudice, LLP to schedule a free case evaluation.