Can I Take a Rapist to Court Even After They’re Convicted?
Sexual assault is a heinous crime that often has a lasting impact throughout a victim’s life, from lasting mental health issues to therapy costs and feelings of embarrassment and shame. Victims can seek justice for their assault through a criminal prosecution, but this might not be enough to provide a sense of resolution. In these situations, victims of sexual assault can pursue a civil lawsuit, or personal injury lawsuit, against their rapist to receive compensation for the losses they suffered in the attack.
Civil Suits Vs Criminal Charges
Victims of sexual assault cannot charge a rapist twice for the same crime. However, civil lawsuits and criminal prosecution are two different sets of charges and legal processes. When a rapist faces criminal prosecution for a sexual assault case, the system is in place to punish him or her. The intention is not primarily to provide justice to the victim, although many victims find closure with the imposition of these sanctions. However, little goes to the victim at the end of a criminal case.
This gap in justice is where civil charges can help provide resolution to victims of sexual assault. These lawsuits provide compensation for the victim’s damages in Minnesota civil court. When a victim pursues a lawsuit, he or she can receive a monetary settlement to compensate for his or her losses which result from the assault. The victim receives tangible resources to aid in his or her recovery, instead of relying on criminal prosecution alone.
Knutson + Casey Martin County Case
One example of a sexual assault victim pursuing both criminal and civil charges against her rapist is a recent case represented by Knutson + Casey, the Mankato law firm. In November 2018, Knutson + Casey announced that they would be representing a victim of sexual assault in a civil court case against her employer in Martin County, Minnesota.
The woman experienced sexual assault at the hands of her employer, Earl Dean Ricard, two years prior to filing the civil suit. Ricard sexually assaulted the victim while she was picking up her paycheck. The victim pursued criminal charges against Ricard, who pled guilty in Minnesota criminal court and received a charge of third degree criminal sexual conduct.
Ricard served his punishment according to criminal court standards, but this sentence did not alleviate the victim’s suffering and losses. She approached Knutson + Casey, who are now filing a civil suit against Ricard on the victim’s behalf, seeking $50,000 in therapy and lost wages.
Potential Damages in Mankato Sexual Assault Civil Claims
Sexual assault can have lasting impacts on a victim. These victims will need to seek medical attention to treat injuries following assault. They may need to obtain mental health services to recover from the lasting emotional impacts. In addition, these victims may have to take time off work to recover from the assault. The victims will most likely deal with emotional repercussions following the assault for the rest of their lives, such as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, fear, and other forms of mental anguish.
Criminal charges do very little to alleviate these expenses. Victims receive little support through this process in terms of monetary reparations. However, the sole purpose of personal injury lawsuits is to provide this compensation. In Minnesota civil court, victims of sexual assault can claim many forms of economic and non-economic damages through these lawsuits to recover from their injuries. Victims can recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, punitive damages, and both physical and mental pain and suffering.
If you suffered from sexual assault in Minnesota, you can file a civil suit against your rapist even if he or she already received a criminal conviction. Contact a Mankato attorney as soon as possible to file your civil suit and claim compensation for your losses.