There are many things that can be described as a parent’s worst nightmare and sexual assault of a child absolutely makes that list. Unfortunately, every year hundreds of children live through this nightmare and recently, one woman in Omaha, Nebraska learned that her child was one of those victims.
Child’s Attack Interrupted
In early July 2017, the 28-year-old mother returned to her home where she went to check on her daughter. What she walked in on will likely haunt her forever.
Her 10-year-old daughter was undressed and her romantic partner, 33-year-old Gabriel Cardona, was in the process of pulling up his pants. It was clear that sexual interaction had taken place. Cardona, realizing he had been caught, ran from the home and the mother immediately called the police.
Within minutes, the police and an ambulance arrived at the home. The child was taken to the hospital and the police started their manhunt. After two hours of searching, Cardona was discovered hiding in a house in the neighborhood and arrested. He has been charged with first-degree sexual assault of a child.
While the criminal charges may go a long way in helping the victim and her mother feel that justice has been served, these charges won’t help them obtain monetary compensation.
Civil Lawsuits: How Can A Claim Help Survivors?
Child sexual assault lawsuits are a form of civil lawsuit that can be filed by both the child who was assaulted and their guardians. It is filed against the person who assaulted the child and, in some cases, any other party whose negligence allowed to assault to occur.
The purpose of these lawsuits is to obtain compensation for the plaintiffs. Depending on the case, compensation may be offered for:
- physical pain and suffering
- emotional trauma, both past and future
- lost wages
- medical expenses
Nothing can ever change the past, but monetary compensation can help get the plaintiffs the care they need to move forward with their lives.
Plaintiffs Can Remain Anonymous
It’s not uncommon for sexual assault victims to hesitate before reporting their assault because they don’t want the entire world to know who they are and to learn about the heinous act they have been forced to endure. But the good news is that plaintiffs have the right to remain anonymous, even if their case becomes nationally known.
For example, in March of 2016, the trial of Brock Turner began. Turner was accused of raping a woman behind a dumpster after two students witnessed him on top of the unconscious victim and he attempted to flee. The case was highly publicized because of Turner’s position on the Stanford swim team, however, despite constant coverage, the identity of the plaintiff remains hidden to this day.
How Long Will A Lawsuit Take?
It takes time for a legal time to collect evidence, consult with experts, and build their case. Then, if the case goes to trial, the date is scheduled by the court. Even the fastest resolutions take months to reach a conclusion and it’s not uncommon for a case to take more than a year. But an experienced legal team will be with the plaintiffs every step of the way, supporting them and answering any questions they may have.
Why Wouldn’t A Case Go To Trial?
Sometimes the defendant offers a settlement. If accepted, this means an agreement has been reached between the two parties without having to go before a judge and jury. Once accepted, the plaintiffs will know exactly how much they will be recovering and payments are typically received within a month of the settlement.
Settlement offers do not have to be accepted – the decision lies solely with the plaintiffs who should consult with their legal team, review all of their legal options, and ultimately decide what is best for them.