- Minnesota law defines sexual assault as sexual contact occurring without the victim’s consent.
- Sexual assault victims have several options for reporting abuse, including law enforcement, support services, and medical professionals.
- Victims may also be able to file a lawsuit to obtain damages stemming from an assault.
- An attorney can help sexual abuse victims seek justice as well as compensation.
- Sand Law attorneys have extensive experience in this area of the law and always provide compassionate, empathetic support.
Sexual abuse is a traumatic experience that can have devastating and long-lasting effects on survivors. Healing from such trauma often involves seeking justice against the perpetrator and holding them accountable for their actions.
In this article, we’ll explore the critical components of sexual assault in Minnesota, the process of reporting abuse, and how to file a sexual assault lawsuit. You’ll also learn how an attorney can provide support and help survivors fight to obtain compensation and justice as they go through the process of recovering from sexual abuse.
Sand Law attorneys have years of experience helping sexual assault victims. When you turn to us, we’ll provide the skilled legal representation needed to help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Please call 651-291-7263 or contact us online for a free consultation.
What Constitutes Sexual Assault in Minnesota?
Sexual assault, also known as sexual abuse, encompasses various non-consensual sexual acts. Minnesota law defines sexual assault as any sexual penetration or sexual contact with another person. These are a few examples of situations that authorities typically consider sexual assault:
- Touching someone sexually without their consent. It’s essential to understand that the victim can revoke consent at any time during a sexual encounter.
- Forcing someone to perform a sexual act.
- Using coercion or intimidation to engage in sexual activity against the victim’s will.
First-degree sexual assault carries penalties of up to 30 years in prison and a fine of as much as $40,000. Someone convicted of sexual penetration of a minor 13 years or younger, for instance, will face this type of punishment.
Reporting Sexual Assault or Abuse in Minnesota
Reporting sexual assault is a vital step toward holding the perpetrator accountable for their actions. In Minnesota, there are several options for doing so:
- Law enforcement: You can report the assault to local law enforcement, such as your local police department or county sheriff’s office. They will investigate to gather evidence and determine whether or not to file charges against the abuser.
- Sexual assault support services: Organizations like sexual assault crisis centers and hotlines provide support and resources for survivors. They can also guide you through the reporting process and offer assistance.
- Medical facilities: If you have suffered physical injuries, it is crucial to seek medical attention. A medical professional can conduct a forensic examination to collect evidence, which can be crucial in a criminal case.
- Confidential reporting: Minnesota offers confidential reporting options through Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) programs, where survivors can receive medical care and evidence collection without immediately involving law enforcement.
How to File a Sexual Assault Lawsuit Against Your Abuser
Filing a sexual assault lawsuit against your abuser is an essential step toward seeking justice and holding them accountable for their actions. It’s also essential in recovering from sexual abuse. Survivors have the legal right to pursue both civil and criminal charges against the perpetrator. To file a civil lawsuit, you need to:
- Consult an attorney: Seek the assistance of an experienced attorney who specializes in sexual assault cases. They will guide you through the legal process, evaluate the strength of your case, and help you determine the appropriate legal remedies.
- Consider the statute of limitations: In the vast majority of instances, there’s no deadline to file a sexual assault lawsuit in Minnesota. However, there are some exceptions. In some instances, the victim must take legal action within six years. An attorney will tell you if the statute of limitations applies in your case.
- Gather evidence: Work with your attorney to gather evidence, such as medical records, witness statements, and any documentation related to the abuse. This evidence is crucial in building a strong case.
- File the lawsuit: Your attorney will file the lawsuit against the abuser on your behalf. The lawsuit may seek compensation for damages, pain and suffering, and other losses you have incurred due to the abuse.
- Legal proceedings: The legal process may involve negotiation, mediation, or going to court to seek justice. Your lawyer will advocate for your rights and represent your best interests.
You Can Receive Compensation for Your Pain and Other Damages
Survivors of sexual assault can seek compensation for the physical, emotional, and financial damages they have suffered. Compensation can cover various aspects, including:
- Medical expenses: Reimbursement for medical treatment, therapy, and counseling.
- Pain and suffering: Compensation for physical and emotional trauma.
- Lost wages: Recovery of income lost due to the assault.
- Legal costs: Reimbursement for attorney fees and related legal expenses.
An experienced attorney will help you understand your rights and the potential compensation you may be entitled to.
At Sand Law, Our Attorneys are Compassionate, Empathetic, and Ready to Help You Seek Justice
At Sand Law, we understand the sensitive and challenging nature of sexual assault cases. Our experienced attorneys provide compassionate and empathetic legal support to survivors. We’re committed to helping you seek justice, holding abusers accountable, and pursuing compensation for the damages you have endured.
When you turn to us, we’ll guide you through every step of the legal process, protecting your rights and ensuring that your voice is heard. We’ll also help you find resources to help your journey of recovering from sexual abuse. You can use our online form or call 651-291-7263 for a free case review.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is sexual assault a felony?
Sexual assault can be charged as a felony in Minnesota, depending on the circumstances and severity of the offense. Felonies typically involve more severe forms of sexual assault and can result in significant penalties.
How do I know if I was drugged last night?
If you suspect you were drugged and sexually assaulted, it’s essential to seek medical attention immediately. A toxicology test can help detect the presence of drugs in your system, and a medical examination can provide evidence of sexual assault.
How many women have been sexually assaulted?
The prevalence of sexual assault is a significant concern. The exact number of survivors is challenging to determine due to underreporting. However, researchers estimate that more than 40 percent of women in Minnesota suffered sexual abuse – most of them before the age of 25.
Is coercion sexual assault?
Yes, coercion can be considered a form of sexual assault. Engaging in sexual activity with someone against their will through manipulation or threats constitutes sexual assault. Consent must be freely given and not obtained through coercion or intimidation. Someone convicted of this crime will face a fine of up to $20,000 and 10 years in jail.