Ohio Sex Abuse Lawsuits

Victims of sexual abuse or assault in Ohio have the legal right to file civil lawsuits and compensation for their injuries. Victims can sue not just their abuser, but also third parties such as schools, churches or organizations that enabled the abuse to occur or covered it up.

In this post, we will provide an overview of sexual abuse lawsuits in Ohio. We will explain the statute of limitations for Ohio sex abuse lawsuits and their potential settlement value. If you have an Ohio sex abuse case, contact us today for a free consultation at 800-553-8082.

Ohio Sex Abuse News and Updates:

April 1, 2024: A federal judge in Ohio has ruled that Red Roof Inns cannot evade a sex trafficking lawsuit. U.S. District Judge Algenon L. Marbley determined that there were sufficient allegations indicating that the hotel chain not only knowingly profited from the victimization but also actively participated in ventures that violated the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA).

One plaintiff recounts being trafficked across multiple Red Roof properties in states like New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut, among others. She alleges that hotel staff ignored numerous red flags indicating trafficking activities, including frequent linen changes, a high number of used condoms, and signs of physical abuse.

Furthermore, it is claimed that traffickers exploited the hotel’s Wi-Fi to advertise this woman’s services. Despite these clear indicators, staff reportedly failed to take action to ensure her safety, even when guests heard her screams for help during a room inspection and no police were called.

Judge Marbley’s ruling underscored that the victims’ allegations met the TVPRA’s requirements for a lawsuit to proceed. Specifically, the judge noted that this sex trafficking lawsuit alleges that Red Roof Inns had at least constructive knowledge of the trafficking based on the overall circumstances, indicating a pattern of conduct or a tacit agreement with traffickers.

What is Sexual Abuse in Ohio?

The legal definition of sexual abuse or sexual assault in Ohio is essentially the same as it is in every other state. Sexual abuse is defined as intentional “sexual touching” without consent. There are 2 components to this definition: (1) sexual touching, and (2) lack of consent.

Sexual touching is basically and type of contact or touching of another person’s sexual organs with intent and for the purpose of sexual gratification. Accidentally touching a woman’s breasts in the elevator does not count. Intentionally groping her breasts does.

The other key element that makes something qualify as sexual abuse is the lack of consent. If the sexual touching is done without consent it is automatically abuse or assault. Minors (anyone under the age of 18) lack the legal capacity to give consent, which means any sexual touching by an adult with a minor is necessarily considered sexual abuse.

Who Can Be Held Liable for Sexual Abuse in Ohio?

Sexual abuse victims can always sue the individual person that abused them. Usually, however, suing the abusers is somewhat pointless because you won’t be able to get any money from them. Chances are they are either broke, dead or in jail.

The key to getting compensation in sex abuse lawsuit is finding a company, school, or other third party with deep pockets (or insurance) to hold liable for negligence. Ohio law allows abuse victims to file civil lawsuits against third-parties who were negligent in failing to prevent or stop the abuse. Common third-party defendants in sex abuse civil lawsuits include schools, churches, or organizations such as the boy scouts. If you can show that the one of these organizations had a duty to prevent or stop the abuse and failed to do so, they can be held legally liable for damages.

For example, if a teacher abused you at your school, the school could potentially be liable for negligently failing to stop the abuse or investigate prior complaints against the teacher. Also, if you were sexually abused or assaulted in a dimly lit parking lot, you could sue the parking lot owner for negligent security.

Statute of Limitations for Ohio Sex Abuse Lawsuits

Ohio’s statute of limitations for civil lawsuits involving child sexual abuse is longer than it is for cases in which the abuse which was an adult. When the sexual abuse occurred when the victim was a minor (under 18) they have until their 30th birthday to file a civil sex abuse lawsuit (O.R.C. 2305.111). The period for adult victims of rape and sexual assault is much shorter. According to O.R.C. 2305.111(B)(1), adult victims have one year to sue a known abuser.

Ohio’s state legislature is currently considering a new law (Ohio H.B. 124) that would extend the statute of limitations for civil sexual abuse lawsuits. Under the proposed new law, the SOL for victims of child sexual abuse would be extended another 25 years. So instead of their 30th birthday, abuse victims would have until their 55th birthday to file a civil lawsuit.

Settlement Value of Ohio Sex Abuse Lawsuits

Successful plaintiffs in an Ohio sexual abuse lawsuit are eligible to receive the same range of damages as plaintiffs in typical tort cases. These include medical expenses, lost wages or potential earnings, and emotional distress.

Sexual abuse claims tend to yield substantial average settlement amounts, as juries are deeply affected by accounts of child sexual abuse. This frequently results in significant verdicts with substantial awards for pain and suffering, which plays a role in determining the settlement amount.

Also, many third-party defendants in sexual abuse cases, such as schools and churches, are motivated to settle to avoid adverse publicity and safeguard their public reputation. This added incentive often leads third-party defendants to offer larger settlement sums to expedite case resolution.

Ohio Sex Abuse Verdicts and Settlements

$575,000 Verdict: In this case, a 20-year-old female brought a lawsuit against her stepfather alleging that he sexually abuse her when she was a minor. The verdict included $75,000 in compensatory damages (pain and suffering) and $500,000 for punitive damages. No third parties were sued in this case so presumably the stepfather was wealthy and had the financial resources to pay for this award.

$50,000 Verdict: An 8-year-old female suffered emotional distress when she was sexually assaulted over a period of five years by the male defendant, her stepfather. The defendant denied all allegations. The minor’s two sisters, ages 13 and 11, were also assaulted and were awarded $20,000 each.

$192,728 Verdict: A 21-year-old female suffered long-term psychological impairment as a result of sexual abuse by the defendant, her stepfather, that began when the plaintiff was six years old and continued through her early teenage years. The defendant disputed the plaintiff’s charges and contended that the plaintiff fabricated the allegations due to her poor relationship with the defendant.

$155,000 Verdict: The plaintiff, who was developmentally disabled, suffered sexual molestation and post-traumatic stress disorder while she attended the defendant school. The plaintiff contended that the defendant failed to properly hire, train and supervise its employees with access to minor students, that the defendants failed to provide reasonable supervision to ensure the safety of the minor children entrusted to their care and failed to prevent the sexual abuse of their students.

$10,000 Verdict: The plaintiff alleged that 2 Cincinnati police officers sexually assault her after “escorting” her back to her apartment when she became intoxicated at a bar. She alleged that after the sexual assault the officers repeatedly contacted and threatened her.

$300,000 Settlement: A female plaintiff suffered sexual assault when the male defendant doctor, while they were at work, kissed and fondled her, exposed himself and attempted to force her to perform fellatio on him. The plaintiff contended that the defendant attempted to force her into a non-consensual sex act and terminated her employment when she refused.

Contact Us About Ohio Sex Abuse Lawsuits

If you were the victim of sexual abuse and want to file a sex abuse lawsuit in Ohio, contact us today at 800-553-8082 or contact us online.

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