According to the Online Nevada Encyclopedia, there is a significant number of Mormons residing in Nevada. With its growing congregation, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has also seen a rise in accusations that some of the members within its ranks have committed sexual abuse. Even more disturbing are the testimonies that claim the Church has failed to report these cases of abuse to authorities.
If a leader or member of the Mormon Church sexually abused you, do not be afraid to speak up. Nevada has laws that protect victims of sexual abuse, punishing those that commit the crime. A Nevada Mormon Church sex abuse lawyer from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm may be able to assess your case and help you seek justice. To get started, contact us at (800) 219-9622.
Sex Abuse within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
While The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints promotes Christian values of peace, brotherhood, and caring for the less fortunate, cases have arisen of sexual predators within the Church victimizing children. Over the years, more and more adults have come forward to speak about the abuse they suffered as children.
A common theme among the alleged victims is that they trusted and respected their abuser, who might have been a volunteer, religious instructor, seminary teacher, or another leader. As children, many of the victims felt shame and guilt for what happened to them. Some took years to come forward because they did not think anyone would believe their story, or they feared being cast out of the Church.
If you are a victim of sex abuse, it can seem daunting to stand up for your rights. Keep in mind that you are not alone. There are laws in place in Nevada to protect you. A Nevada Mormon Church sex abuse lawyer from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm may be able to help you understand your rights so that you can confront your abuser and potentially receive compensation for the harm they caused you.
What to Do After Being Sexually Abused
To protect your right to pursue a claim, you will want to preserve as much supporting evidence as you can.
Seek Medical Help
As soon as possible, seek treatment from a medical facility. Depending on your injuries, they may be able to retrieve DNA evidence to support a claim of rape or sexual abuse. This may be critical to getting compensation or punishing your abuser.
Report the Incident
You might also want to get help from someone close to you, like a family member, or report the incident to the police. Your lawyer could later use the police report as evidence to support your claim in court.
Get an Attorney
You may also want to get help from a legal professional. Working with an attorney who has experience in sexual abuse cases may be helpful. They may advise you on the steps to take to preserve your rights.
Effects of Sexual Abuse
Even if your abuser is sentenced to prison or receives other criminal punishments for their crime, you may still be left with severe psychological, emotional, and physical trauma. Aside from feelings of guilt and shame, some victims become clinically depressed or suicidal, or even turn to drug use to cope with the pain. In many cases, survivors need therapy to deal with these issues, which could take years to overcome or last a lifetime.
Unfortunately, the criminal court does not award victims compensation to pay for therapy and other damages they experienced. As the victim, you will likely have to file a civil suit. A Nevada Mormon Church sex abuse attorney could help you file a civil lawsuit.
How to File a Civil Lawsuit
Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) §200.366 defines the crime of sex abuse/rape in the state. In civil cases, the time you have for filing a claim typically has an end date called the statute of limitations (SOL). The SOL governs the time limit you have from when the incident occurred to when you must file charges. After this period, the court will likely dismiss your case, except in certain extenuating circumstances.
In Nevada, there is generally a two-year statute of limitations for civil sexual assault cases, per NRS §11.190. However, if you were a minor when the abuse occurred, you may have until age 38 to file a claim, according to Child USA. Nonetheless, to win your case in court, you will need to ensure you have a valid claim, and you will need to prove that the accused person is indeed your abuser.
Your Mormon Church sex abuse lawyer will aim to ensure that you meet all the criteria for presenting your claim. They will aim to gather evidence, which may include a doctor’s record showing a sexual attack, videotape, photographs, and/or eyewitness testimony. Your lawyer will also prep you before speaking in court.
How Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Can Help
At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, we are ready to listen to your situation, offer advice, and help you take legal action. Keep in mind that even though it may be difficult to come forward, the sooner you do, the easier it may be to gather evidence and build a strong case on your behalf.
Rest assured that your Nevada Mormon Church sex abuse lawyer has years of experience in sexual abuse cases and knows which steps to take to give your claim the best chance for success so that you and your family can heal and move forward with your lives. Contact us today for a free case evaluation. Call (800) 219-9622 or submit an inquiry via the form on this website.