Michigan Sex Abuse & Sexual Assault Lawyer

Michigan has a troubling history of institutional sexual abuse at the hands of doctors, priests, and others in positions of power. The victims and survivors of criminal sex offenses in Michigan can seek justice and compensation from their abusers through civil actions. The Michigan sex abuse lawyers at Herman Law are a trusted asset in these cases by advocating for you on your road to recovery. 

Sexual abuse in Michigan is a horrific crime that has a lifelong impact on survivors in the form of physical and psychological injury. As a survivor, you could have a right to compensation from your abusers, including the institutions that failed to protect you through cover-ups and ignored pleas for help. Our Michigan sex abuse lawyers take these claims seriously and pursue all available civil remedies. We put our clients first and always protect their interests. Learn more about these claims and how our attorneys can assist you on your journey toward healing.

Why Herman Law

For over 25 years, the attorneys at Herman Law have served exclusively as nationwide legal advocates for both children and adults who are the victims of rape and sexual abuse. Our firm empowers survivors in their civil lawsuits against the people and institutions responsible for the injustice of sexual abuse. 

The attorneys at Herman Law approach cases of sexual abuse from a position of deep empathy for the emotional and physical hardships of clients and their families. In this spirit, we strive to reduce the stress of litigation for our clients by managing investigative processes and helping clients through the often overwhelming steps to a financial settlement or verdict. 

Filing a Sexual Abuse Case in Michigan

Sex abuse generally involves unwanted sexual contact, covering everything from fondling and touching of a sexual nature to rape and child molestation. Michigan allows the victims of criminal sexual abuse and misconduct to file civil actions to recover compensation for their related damages. The Michigan Penal Code Sections 750.520(b)-(e) recognize several degrees of criminal sexual conduct ranging from misdemeanor to first-degree felony offenses. In many situations, like those involving minors, a perpetrator cannot argue consent as a defense to sex abuse or criminal sexual conduct.

Michigan law allows you to file a civil lawsuit for any of these violations. The right to file a civil action exists regardless of whether the state has filed criminal charges. In cases where criminal charges for sexual misconduct are filed, you do not need a conviction or another type of judgment to file a civil claim for your injuries.

Compensation Available for Victims of Sexual Assault in Michigan

Victims can seek compensation from the perpetrator and those people and institutions that enabled the abuse. Michigan gives victims of sexual abuse the right to recover economic and non-economic damages suffered as a result of an abuser’s misconduct. An award for these damages through settlement or trial could compensate for the following injuries tied to the sexual assault:

Beyond available compensation for economic and non-economic damages, you may also receive a judgment for exemplary damages for conduct committed with malice and a disregard for your rights. Exemplary damages aim to punish the perpetrators and deter future misconduct. Herman Law is a sexual abuse law firm in Michigan that evaluates all details of each case and pursues the maximum compensation available for all damages.

The Statute of Limitations for Sex Abuse Cases in Michigan

The statute of limitations for civil sexual abuse cases in Michigan is generally 10 years for actions for damages caused by criminal sexual conduct. Criminal sexual conduct involves violations of the Michigan Penal Code Subsections 750.520(b)-(e) and (g). This ten-year period will usually begin on the date of the sexual assault or misconduct. 

Victims who were minors at the time of sexual assault could have a longer statute of limitations period. Michigan Compiled Laws Section 600.5851(a) provides alternative filing periods for minor sexual assault cases depending on the circumstances of the case. You must file before the later of the following possible filing dates:

  1. Before you reach the age of 28 
  2. Three years after you discover or should have discovered the causal relationship between your injury and the criminal sexual misconduct 

The filing deadlines for civil actions arising from sexual assault are longer compared to the filing deadlines for other claims for personal injury in Michigan. However, it’s important to be aware of these filing deadlines to preserve your rights to compensation from an abuser. Consult with a Michigan sexual abuse lawyer at Herman Law as soon as possible upon discovery of a possible civil claim for sexual assault to determine your required filing period under Michigan’s statute of limitations. 

Even if you are concerned about a lapsed filing deadline, don’t hesitate to speak with our attorneys. You may still have options available to pursue legal action. In addition, the Michigan Legislature has recently considered expanding these limitation periods to provide justice to victims of past sexual misconduct. Our Michigan child molestation attorneys can answer your questions about how the state’s statute of limitations—and any potential amendments—could impact your civil case for sexual assault.

Examples of the Common Types of Michigan Sexual Abuse Cases 

Cases of sexual abuse can arise in a variety of settings and relationships that are both social and professional. In many cases, abusers operate through an institution that provides access to their victims, which is why it is not uncommon to see sexual abuse cases in the following situations:

  • Clergy, church members, and other religious leaders
  • Teachers, school administrators, volunteers, and others in the Michigan education system
  • Youth sports leagues, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and similar organizations
  • Abusive homes provided through the foster care system
  • Doctors, therapists, and other health professionals who sexually abuse patients under the guise of providing medical care

Reporting from Child Protective Services shows that over 90 percent of victims of child sexual abuse have a personal relationship with their abuser. It’s also possible for these crimes to occur within the home from a family member or relative. A Michigan child sexual abuse lawyer at Herman Law can help you bring these wrongdoers to justice.

High-Profile Michigan Sexual Abuse Cases

Michigan has an unfortunate history of institutional sexual abuse cases involving bad actors in positions of power. These people took advantage of their relationships and authority to commit repeated acts of sexual assault toward numerous victims. 

Perhaps the most notable of these perpetrators is Larry Nassar, who molested and abused hundreds of young women and athletes through his work as an athletic doctor at Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics. 

Another major sexual abuse case perpetrated by a health professional involved Dr. Robert Anderson. He abused thousands of student-athletes and others through his position at the University of Michigan. Last year, the university reached an almost $500 million settlement for the victims of his sexual misconduct.

How a Herman Law Michigan Sexual Abuse Lawyer Can Help

The occurrence or discovery of sexual abuse is an emotional period for you and your loved ones. We understand how difficult it can be to take the next step in your healing and justice process. A Michigan sexual abuse lawyer who is familiar with navigating these processes can help guide you through the next steps. The Michigan sexual abuse lawyers at Herman Law have decades of experience in these cases that we’ll leverage to get you the justice and compensation you deserve.

Our Michigan sexual assault attorneys begin the process with the help of our In-House Special Investigative Unit. They assist with gathering available information and evidence necessary to develop your case. Our attorneys then formulate a trial strategy while creating a positive and stress-free litigation process for our clients. Through our advocacy, we strive to obtain a verdict or settlement with your interests as a survivor of sexual abuse first. Contact us for a free, confidential consultation.