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Sex Abuse and Assault Victims

Sexual abuse and assault are crimes entail either the use of force by one person over another for the purpose of sexual gratification of the abuser, and/or the engagement of sexual activities involving an adult and a minor. Like physical abuse and assault, sexual abuse represents a violation of a person’s safety and well-being.

Any kind of abuse or assault is harmful to the victim, and this is why victims of sexual abuse or assault have the right to seek justice in a court of law. Sexual abuse and assault crimes are classified under specific categories.

There have been many cases in Seattle, Kirkland, Olympia, and Bellingham involving minors who have been sexually assaulted by teachers, boy scout leaders, and members of the clergy, especially priests.


Rape is perhaps the most well-known sexual assault crime and may be the most violent. Rape involves the outright coercion of a victim against their will to engage in sexual intercourse with an abuser. The act of rape is brutal and cruel because it involves physical force, violence and/or the threat of bodily injury.

Statutory Rape

Unlike rape, statutory rape may not involve direct violence and physical force. Statutory rape is considered to be rape because it involves an adult engaging in sexual intercourse with a minor—which, in this case, is a person who is under the age of consent for sex. However, the attribution of minor status varies from state to state as it is determined by the age of consent laws outlined by each state. For example, in Washington State the age of consent is 16, but in California the age of consent is 18.

Statutory rape laws are complicated because they also take into consideration the age of the adult, such that, in some states the age at which a person can legally to consent to have sex with a person of any age (specifically older adults) is 18. To understand the specific laws that apply to your case it is best to contact a lawyer who can advise you.

Child Sexual abuse

There are many kinds of child sexual abuse crimes, as specified by the particular behavior of the adult and the age of the minor victim. However, nearly all of these crimes involve sexual or sexualized behaviors, often considered to be lewd or lascivious, that an adult acts upon with a minor. The intent of these crimes is described as one which is geared to arouse or gratify the sexual desires of the adult.

Not all child sexual abuse crimes involve direct contact with a minor victim. Child pornography is a good example. Tragically, many minors have been convicted of child pornography after texting sexual images of themselves to others, including other minors—in an act popularly known as “sexting.” Under child pornography laws in some states, minor defendants may be sentenced to a minimum of five years’ incarceration in a federal prison.

Aggregated Sexual Abuse

Aggregated sexual abuse typically represents a more serious and perhaps harmful form of sexual abuse. It may involve the abuser threatening the life of the victim, drugging the victim (such as was the case with Bill Cosby), abusing an older adult or handicapped person, or incest.

Sexual Abuse in the Church

There has been much media attention over the years involving sexual abuse of minor children by clergy. In 2015, a film titled Spotlight was released following from The Boston Globe's investigations into numerous cases of widespread child sexual abuse around the city of Boston by Roman Catholic priests. This and other media portrayals have raised the recognition of the problem of child sexual abuse by clergy in the general public.

It goes without saying that to have a trusted spiritual advisor abuse a minor is a most harmful event. Religious leaders often use their position of power as an authority on the will of God to justify their abuse and to overcome the protestations of the minor. Unfortunately, many sexually abusive religious leaders abuse multiple victims over a period of many years.

Sexual Abuse in the Boy Scouts

Many grown men have fond memories of participation in the Boy Scouts, as it provides an opportunity for boys to learn new skills and engage in creative interactions with other kids and older male role models.

However, sexual abuse in the Boy Scouts is a reality that has come to light in recent years. Sexual abuse by leaders upon minor victims, and by older scouts upon younger scouts, is possible due to the long-term relationships that are nurtured during weekly club meetings and weekend camping events.

While you shouldn’t veer away from providing your child with opportunities for adventure and learning, it is important to monitor their time away from home. Many cases of child sexual abuse have occurred in The Boy Scouts, so it’s important to talk to your child and be aware of any warning signs that he may be experiencing abuse. If he has been abused, you have every right to contact a lawyer to discuss filing a criminal case in a court of law.

Sexual Abuse by Teachers in School

Sometimes sexual abuse happens in places where it seems it would be most unlikely, such as at school. Sexual abuse by teachers is another example of an abuse of power by an adult over a minor. Teachers are typically bound by laws to not engage in sexual involvements with their students, even when the student is over the age of consent.

It is simply common sense that a minor child, or even a student at the age of 18, is in school for the specific purpose to learn and obtain a degree. The teacher’s role is to support the student towards that goal, not forge interactions intended to satisfy their own desires.

How The Jackman Law Firm can Help

If you have been sexually abused by someone in the church, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, or at a public or private school, then you have a claim that can be brought against the responsible party. These are very difficult cases that need a skilled lawyer who can hold the accountable parties to justice. If you have such a claim, you should not delay in calling The Jackman Law Firm. The consultation is free and we have the experience and knowledge and success record to help you through this difficult time.

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