If I was sexually assaulted many years ago, can I still bring a civil lawsuit for damages?

Unless the victim is a minor, civil lawsuits based on sexual assault cannot be filed more than two years after the date the assault occurred. If the attacker was convicted of felony criminal charges based on the assault, then the charges must be filed one year following the conviction. If the sexual assault occurred at work, you are generally required to file an administrative complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing within 12 months of the assault or harassment in order to pursue a claim against your employer.

In cases in which the victim is a minor, a civil claim of sexual assault or abuse must be made within eight years of the age of majority (age 18 in California). This statute of limitations can be extended for three years if the victim discovers —for example, via counseling or regained memory —that they were the victim of child sexual abuse.

Other Frequently Asked Questions

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