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Jonathan Rosenfeld
J.D

June 24, 2023

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Joliet Sexual Abuse Lawyer

Sexual abuse can have a devastating impact even if you have only experienced it one time, and the effects may last for years and even decades.

But unfortunately, you may be feeling ashamed or afraid to report the abuse because you blame yourself or are worried about what others will think of you.

You must seek justice to recover and move forward with your life. The Joliet personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC have years of experience helping victims get justice and get their lives back on track after experiencing sexual abuse at any age.

Our Joliet sexual abuse lawyers handle cases involving child molestation, rape, statutory rape, incest, assault & battery by police officers and clergy members in Illinois.

Call our law offices at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today for immediate legal advice and schedule a free consultation.

Joliet, Illinois Sexual Abuse Crimes

Hundreds of thousands of people are affected by sexual abuse each year, both in the United States and abroad. Sex abuse survivors can have lifelong psychological scars due to their traumatic experiences.

They might need to participate in therapy and counseling to deal with what happened to them due to something else.

Sexual abuse is a sensitive subject, but it happens more often than you think. Unfortunately, the Joliet area has been home to some high-profile sex crimes in recent years. In one case, two teachers were accused of sexually abusing students.

In another case, a priest was charged with sexually abusing children as a pastor in the Chicago area and other locations.

The Devastating Trauma of Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault

Under Illinois law, any person who commits a criminal sexual assault against an adult or a child is guilty of predatory criminal sexual assault. Under the law, predatory criminal sexual assault is a Class X felony, which carries a potential sentence of 6 to 30 years in prison.

In addition, the victim of predatory criminal sex assault may file a civil lawsuit seeking damages from the convicted perpetrator. Recently, the Illinois General Assembly passed the Preventing Sexual Violence in our Communities Act, which allows victims of child sexual abuse to file lawsuits until they are 38 years old.

The new law extends the period that a person sexually abused as a child has to file a civil claim from age 20 through age 38. To be eligible for damages, the child must have reported the abuse to authorities within two years of turning 18.

Are you or a loved one the victim of predatory criminal sexual assault? If so, it is important to speak with an experienced Joliet sexual abuse lawyer as soon as possible.

A skilled attorney can help you understand your legal rights and options and may be able to help you file a civil lawsuit against the perpetrator. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our Joliet, IL legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.

Aggravated Criminal Sexual Assault

Under certain circumstances, a sexual predator could be charged with aggravated criminal sexual assault. This criminal charge is a Class 1 felony, which carries a potential sentence of 4 to 15 years in prison.

The prosecution must prove that the defendant committed a sexual assault of a criminal level and that one or more aggravating factors were present to ensure a sex crime conviction of aggravated criminal sexual assault.

Some common aggravating factors include:

  • The use of a weapon
  • The use of force or threats
  • The sexual crimes survivor was seriously injured
  • The victim was younger than 13 years old
  • The defendant is a registered sex offender

A sex crime conviction typically results in a lengthy prison sentence and damage to the person’s reputation. Many sexual predators agree to a plea deal to minimize the time spent behind bars and on probation when resolving their sex crime charges.

Sexual predators charged with aggravated assault could face up to life in prison if the victim is under age 18 at the time of the sex offense or up to 15 years in prison if the victim is an adult. Furthermore, if the defendant is a registered sex offender, the penalties may be even harsher.

The Prevalence of Sexual Crimes

According to independent research, the prevalence of sex offenses against innocent children and vulnerable adults is alarming. For example, the National Center for Victims of Crime (NCVC) estimates that one in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before 18 years old.

In addition, thirty percent of women and twenty percent of men experience some form of sexual violence in their lifetime. Sadly, many cases go unreported.

What Are Considered Sexual Crimes?

Though the definition of sexual abuse varies by situation, it is generally considered any sexual contact with someone without their consent. This guideline holds even if the victim willingly participated in the act or initiated it.

There are three categories (or degrees) of sexual abuse, including:

  • Aggravated Sex Crimes: This is the most severe form of sexual abuse and involves penetration of the victim, whether it be an object or body part.
  • Sexual abuse: includes unwanted sexual contact, unwanted sexual touching, kissing, fondling, and intercourse.
  • Child Pornography: Consists of any visual depiction of a minor engaged in sexual activity.

Any unlawful sexual conduct creates a legal issue that should be addressed with the help of a knowledgeable Joliet sexual abuse lawyer.

What Are My Options as a Victim of Sexual Abuse?

Victims and their families have several options. They can report the crime to their local authorities, seek legal action through the civil courts, or receive compensation through the Crime Victims’ Compensation Program (CVCP).

Reporting sex crimes does not require victims to file a civil lawsuit. But, regardless of which path they choose, filing a report or contacting their local law enforcement agency is the first step toward seeking justice and healing.

What To Do If You Have Been Sexually Abused

Many victims of sexual abuse do not report it at the time of the crime due to fear, embarrassment, blame, or guilt. However, victims who don’t report sexual abuse right away may still have time to do so.

If you are a victim of sexual abuse, you should:

  • Report the crime to your local law enforcement agency
  • Get medical attention as soon as possible
  • Talk to someone you trust about the assault
  • Save any physical evidence of the assault, if possible

If you have been sexually abused, it is important to preserve any physical evidence as soon as possible. Preserving evidence can be done by going to a hospital emergency room, the emergency department of a nearby clinic, or a Community Sexual Assault Program within 120 hours after the attack.

The Victim’s Consequences of Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse can have both short- and long-term consequences for victims. These can include physical injuries, psychological problems, and social difficulties.

The consequences of sexual abuse are unique to each victim. Some common effects of sexual abuse include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Flashbacks and nightmares
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Suicidal thoughts or tendencies
  • Alcohol or drug abuse

The victim’s family and friends will often experience an array of problems. They might need counseling to cope with the changes in their loved ones following the sexual abuse.

How Can I Protect Myself from Being Sexually Abused?

You will never completely protect yourself from sex crimes, as it is a crime of power, control, and force.

However, there are some steps you can take to reduce your risk of being sexually abused:

  • Avoid isolated places with only one way out
  • Stay alert and be aware of your surroundings at all times
  • Be cautious around strangers or people you don’t know well
  • Trust your instincts about other people
  • Don’t allow yourself to be alone with someone you don’t know or trust
  • If someone makes you feel uncomfortable, leave the situation and get help
  • Tell a trusted adult if something happens that makes you feel unsafe or uncomfortable

Numerous resources are available to victims of sexual abuse. These include:

  • Local law enforcement agencies
  • Community Sexual Assault Programs
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
  • Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN): 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)
  • The National Center for Victims of Crime: 1-800-FYI-CALL (394-2255)

These agencies can provide victims with information about their legal options, counseling and support services, and other resources.

Sex crimes are heinous and can have devastating consequences for victims. If you or someone you know has been sexually abused, it is important to seek help.

Many resources are available to victims, including local law enforcement agencies, community sexual assault programs, and national hotlines. You are not alone.

If you have any more questions or need legal assistance, please contact a Joliet sexual abuse lawyer today for a free consultation. A qualified attorney can help you understand your legal options and guide you through the legal process. So don’t suffer in silence – get help today.

Our law office represents clients throughout northeastern Illinois, including Cook County, DuPage County, Grundy County, Kane County, McHenry County, Lake County, Will County, University Park, Crest Hill, Carbon Hill, Coal City, Homer Glen, and the Chicago area.

Who Can I Talk To If I Have Been Sexually Abused?

If you have been the victim of sex crimes, it is okay to talk about what happened. You can contact your local crisis line or support center for help.

You should also reach out to your friends and family members you trust and feel comfortable talking to about this experience. It would help if you found someone who will listen without judgment and offer support.

If you are uncomfortable talking to anyone you know, you can also contact a sexual assault hotline or counseling center. These centers provide confidential and safe environments for victims of sexual abuse to discuss their experiences.

Sex crimes can have devastating consequences for victims. If you or someone you know has been a victim of sex crimes, it is important to seek help. Several resources are available to sex crime victims, including local law enforcement, crisis lines, and counseling centers. You are not alone.

Reporting Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse is a crime that can have devastating consequences for victims. If you or someone you know has been a victim of sex crimes, it is important to report the abuse as soon as possible.

Reporting sex offenses is part of a social contract to ensure everyone’s safety when the predator runs loose.

Reporting Sexual Abuse to the Police

Are you a victim of sex crimes? If so, you should contact the police immediately. The police will investigate the crime and arrest the perpetrator on sex crime charges. It is important to remember that you are not alone; the Joliet, IL, police will help you through the process.

Reporting Sexual Abuse to HEART (Human Exploitation and Rape Trauma) Center

Victims of sexual crimes can call (815) 727-1234 or toll-free at (866) 305-5148 to make a report over the phone to the Joliet HEART Center. The hotline is operated by the Will County State’s Attorney Office and staffed with professionals responsible for interviewing victims of sex crimes to keep them informed about their Joliet, IL, sexual abuse cases throughout the legal process.

Reporting sex crimes protects the community of Cook County, Will County, Lake County, and DuPage County.

Sex offenses created a legal issue that must be dealt with immediately, when possible, to ensure that the individual member harmed during the assault has legal support bringing to resolve their case in civil court.

Joliet sexual abuse law firm

Filing a Sexual Offense Compensation Case Against the Abuser

Are you the victim of sex crimes? Did the predator face criminal charges? Was there no sex crime conviction?

Our Joliet, IL personal injury law firm is a legal advocate for victims of sex crimes and fight aggressively on their behalf to ensure they are compensated for their damages.

The attorneys at our law office understand the complicated legal system and offer ongoing supportive legal advice. In addition, our law office represents clients who were sexually abused days, weeks, months, years, or decades ago.

Contact a Joliet sex abuse lawyer at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today to schedule a free consultation. Our compassionate attorneys will provide a safe environment to tell us what occurred during the abuse.

We accept all personal injury cases and wrongful death lawsuits on a contingency fee basis. This promise ensures you pay nothing until the case is resolved through a jury trial or negotiated settlement.

Joliet Sexual Abuse Lawyer Resources:

Client Reviews

Jonathan Rosenfeld was professionally objective, timely, and knowledgeable. Also, his advice was extremely effective regarding my case. In addition, Jonathan was understanding and patient pertaining to any of my questions or concerns. I was very happy with the end result and I highly recommend Jonathan Rosenfeld.

- Michonne Proulx

Extremely impressed with this law firm. They took control of a bad motorcycle crash that left my uncle seriously injured. Without any guarantee of a financial recovery, they went out and hired accident investigators and engineers to help prove how the accident happened. I am grateful that they worked on a contingency fee basis as there was no way we could have paid for these services on our own.

- Ethan Armstrong

Jonathan helped my family heal and get compensation after our child was suffered a life threatening injury at daycare. He was sympathetic and in constant contact with us letting us know all he knew every step of the way. We were so blessed to find Jonathan!

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This lawyer really helped me get compensation for my motorcycle accident case. I know there is no way that I could have gotten anywhere near the amount that Mr. Rosenfeld was able to get to settle my case. Thank you.

- Daniel Kaim

Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial.

- Lisa
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