The Utah Department of Health confirms that sexual violence is linked to traumatic childhood experiences and is also one of Utah’s most underreported crimes, primarily because victims fear the stigma of their experience. However, when victims keep silent, sexual predators within the Mormon Church get to repeat their abusive acts, sometimes harming many others.
Victims may be afraid to step forward and bring their abusers to justice, especially when the offender is someone they trust and respect, like a clergy member. Regardless of who the person is, they can and should still be held accountable for their crime. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 219-9622 to learn how a Utah Mormon Church sex abuse lawyer can help you seek justice.
Sex Abuse in Church and Civil Lawsuits
Sex abuse is a broad term that encompasses a variety of offenses related to unwanted sexual interactions. It may involve groping, molestation, rape, sexual assault, or unlawful sexual activity with a minor, just to name a few. Most sexual abuse incidents are crimes of opportunity—perpetrators know the victim or have a trusting relationship.
It is devastating when the identified offender is affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the formal name for the Mormon Church, or any other religious organization. Church is supposed to be a safe space, not a refuge for sexual predators.
Even if your abuser is found guilty in a criminal court and serves prison time, you might still be left with no financial compensation to help make you whole. If you are ready to pursue a claim against your abuser, a Utah Mormon Church sex abuse lawyer can offer professional legal advice and guide you through the litigation process.
Victims Have the Legal Right to Compensation
Victims of sex abuse have the legal right to seek fair compensation from those who harmed them. Aside from physical injuries, most abuse victims also suffer from mental and emotional trauma. While some are able to move past the incident with therapy, others never fully recover from the shame, guilt, fear, and anxiety resulting from their experience.
In many cases, therapy is out of reach for victims with limited financial resources. A Utah Mormon Church sex abuse lawyer works to give sex abuse victims the help they need to recover. The offender has purposefully hurt you and should face the costly repercussions of their misconduct.
A sex abuse victim may seek the following monetary damages:
- Past and future medical treatments, including therapy costs
- Lost wages while recovering and seeking treatment
- Future income losses if the survivor can no longer work in their condition
- Reasonable compensation for pain and suffering
Keep in mind that your civil lawsuit is independent of the abuser’s criminal charges, which aim to punish them for violating the law—not compensating those they harmed. A Utah Mormon Church sex abuse lawyer with Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can review your case in detail and explain your legal options. To learn how we can help, contact us today.
Statutes of Limitations for Sex Abuse
Every legal action has a corresponding statute of limitations, which is the time allowed to file a lawsuit. When the deadline passes, you may no longer seek recovery, despite having an actionable claim.
The good news is that sex abuse victims in Utah now have many more years to seek justice. Utah state legislature passed Utah Code §78B-2-308 in 2018 to extend the statute of limitations for child sex abuse beyond its previous four-year deadline. Lawmakers recognized how difficult it can be for sex abuse survivors to overcome and heal from their experience, which may take decades. Victims under 18 years old can now bring forth a civil action within 35 years after turning 18.
Adult victims of sexual abuse in Utah have a far shorter time limit to seek justice—only four years from the date of the incident. Working with a Utah Mormon Church sex abuse lawyer can help ensure that your case is filed appropriately, and all deadlines are met.
Consider a Class Action Suit Against the Perpetrator
Those who experienced sexual abuse at the hands of a clergy member may hesitate to come forward on their own. They are likely to be afraid if their perpetrator is still a member of the church or holds an influential position in the congregation. If this applies to you, a Utah Mormon Church sex abuse lawyer can still help you and others who had the same experience.
In many sex abuse cases involving clergy members, class action suits have a better chance in court. The more people who come forward and give evidence, the stronger the legal claim will be. A class-action lawsuit may also be an ideal option for victims whose statute of limitations has already passed.
Get Legal Help Today from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm
As a sex abuse survivor, you have the legal right to seek damages from those who hurt you. While it may take time to recover from your pain and suffering, it can be easier knowing that your medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages are covered. All you have to do is focus on healing.
When you are ready to pursue an injury claim against the perpetrator who betrayed your trust, turn to Pintas & Mullins Law Firm. Our Utah Mormon Church sex abuse lawyers can walk you through the steps of the legal process, investigate your case, and collect evidence to bolster your claim—all with the care and compassion you deserve.
To get started, contact us today at (800) 219-9622 for a free consultation.