Minnesota’s Sexual Abuse and Sexual Assault Lawyers

We help survivors of sexual abuse and sexual assault by giving them the opportunity to hold their abusers accountable. Using the law to hold a perpetrator of such abuse responsible for what he or she has done takes courage. While the experience of facing down one’s abuser can be empowering for our clients, it is not an easy task. Those survivors who are willing to stand up and expose their perpetrators should be commended for their strength and resolve. They are the brave few who make it easier for other sex abuse victims to come forward. Those people who have the strength to come forward make it harder for perpetrators to continue harming the children of our communities and operating “under the radar.” Sexual abuse is a persistent and damaging problem in our society. Only by exposing abusers and forcing them to face justice can we bring about the change necessary to stop more abuse from occurring.

Our lawyers have secured some of the most substantial sexual abuse and sex assault victories in Minnesota state history. Recent results include a $10,500,000.00 verdict obtained by Michael Hall III, in which a Stearns County jury held an adult male responsible for having sexually abused his own niece. Another lawsuit handled by Mr. Hall involved a $4,000,000.00 judgment against a Northern Minnesota man who was found guilty of sexually abusing his two minor children. In July 2013, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Mr. Hall secured a $7,000,000.00 judgment against an adult male perpetrator who had been sexually abusing a teenage boy.

Sexual abuse cases present unique legal challenges that require the skill of an attorney experienced in this area of the law. The attorneys at Hall Law are experts in sexual abuse cases. Firm lawyers have litigated sex abuse claims in both Minnesota and California and have been holding perpetrators accountable for for years.

From our two main offices in Edina and St. Cloud we serve sex abuse clients statewide, from the Minneapolis metro, to Central and Northern Minnesota. If you’re a survivor of sexual abuse, and you’re wondering about your legal options, you are welcome to call our office for advice.

What is sexual abuse?

According to Minnesota law the term “sexual abuse” describes those physical acts which, if committed, would constitute criminal sexual conduct. Criminal sexual conduct includes an array of wrongful acts set forth in Minnesota statute sections 609.342 through 609.345. In this context it is probably not useful to recount all the different circumstances of sexual abuse contemplated by the statute. Instead, it is sufficient to note that sexual abuse typically involves either: (1) acts of intentional sexual contact or sexual penetration upon a minor, or (2) intentional, non-consensual, sexual contact or sexual penetration upon an adult. Non-consensual abuse can occur in a variety of contexts including situations involving force, coercion, or situations where the victim is mentally incapacitated and thus unable to give consent.

Unfortunately sexual abuse and sexual assault remain a significant problem in our society. Abuse can occur in multiple different venues including our schools, the work place, and even in our religious centers. Such abuse can take on many forms and can include acts such as rape, sexual assault, improper touching and/or fondling. Moreover, the perpetrators of such abuse can come from all different sectors of our society. By their very nature, acts of sexual abuse and sexual assault often remain secret and hidden from public scrutiny. As a result, those who perpetrate such acts often go on with their lives without ever being held responsible for their crimes. In recent years that phenomenon has been changing. More and more victims are coming forward and holding their attackers responsible for their actions in civil court.

What legal options are available to a victim of sexual abuse?

In Minnesota, in the civil law context, a victim of sexual abuse may bring an action against (1) the person who committed sexual abuse against the victim, or (2) the entity which negligently permitted sexual abuse against the victim to occur. Thus, Minnesota law permits sexual abuse actions against both the actual abuser and against those who were in such a position that they could have and should have stopped the abuse from occurring.

Ramifications of Sexual Abuse

The residual effects of sexual abuse can develop and intensify over time. Symptoms which are common in survivors include: feelings of guilt, shame, helplessness and hopelessness. Victims of sexual abuse often turn to alcohol or drug dependence as a way to escape these feelings. Many sexual abuse survivors have problems in their personal relationships and in their careers.

Therapy

Abuse survivors often suffer severe emotional harm requiring long term counseling and other forms of mental health treatment. If you are the victim of sexual abuse or sexual assault, we recommend you see a mental health professional so they can provide you with professional assistance as you work through the difficulties that abuse victims often face. We believe victims of sexual abuse are well served by establishing a relationship with a therapist so that in times of emotional crisis they have someone they can turn to.