Sexual assault is a heinous crime that involves any form of unwanted sexual contact or behavior, including rape, molestation, and coercion. Survivors of sexual assault often face profound physical, emotional, and psychological trauma.

Seeking justice through legal avenues is a critical step in the healing process. This blog post aims to provide comprehensive information about the sexual assault statute of limitations in California, emphasizing the importance of seeking legal recourse.

Sexual Assault Statute of Limitations in California

The statute of limitations (SOL) for filing a civil lawsuit for sexual assault in California is generally within ten (10) years from the date of the assault (California Code of Civil Procedure section 340.1). However, recent legal changes have extended the time frame for filing civil claims. The sexual assault statute of limitations can also vary depending on when the assault occurred and where the claim is being filed. 

Recent Legal Developments

Assembly Bill 1619, enacted in California, has expanded the sexual assault statute of limitations for survivors of sexual assault. Under this law, survivors now have until age 40 or within five years of discovering trauma-related psychological injuries to file a civil claim, regardless of when the assault occurred. This extension provides survivors with more time to come forward and seek justice and acknowledges the complexities of childhood trauma and provides survivors with an extended time frame to seek legal redress.

Statute of Limitations with EEOC

If the sexual assault is related to workplace harassment or misconduct, survivors may choose to file a claim through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).  The sexual assault statute of limitations for filing a claim through the EEOC is governed by federal regulations rather than specific state statutes.

According to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which the EEOC enforces, the time limit for filing a charge of discrimination based on sexual assault or harassment is generally within 180 days from the date of the alleged violation. However, this time limit can be extended to 300 days if a state or local agency enforces a law that prohibits employment discrimination on the same basis. This timeline is separate from the civil statute of limitations and applies specifically to workplace-related assaults.

Defining Sexual Assault

In California, sexual assault is legally defined as any non-consensual sexual act, which includes but is not limited to penetration, touching of intimate body parts without consent, and forcing someone into sexual activity through threats or coercion. It is a violation of an individual’s rights and can cause severe and lasting harm. Charges for sexual assault can be both civil and criminal, with consequences that vary depending on the nature of the assault. 

Importance of Seeking Justice

Survivors of sexual assault deserve justice and support. Seeking legal action not only holds perpetrators accountable but also helps survivors access resources such as counseling, medical care, and compensation for damages. It is a crucial step towards reclaiming agency and healing from the trauma of assault.

Consulting a California Sexual Assault Attorney

Navigating the legal aspects of sexual assault cases can be daunting, which is why it’s essential to consult with a knowledgeable attorney. An experienced attorney can assess the specifics of each case, explain the applicable statutes of limitations, guide survivors through the legal process, and advocate for their rights. Consulting an attorney ensures that survivors understand their options and can make informed decisions about pursuing legal action.

If you or someone you know has experienced sexual assault and is considering legal action, don’t hesitate to contact Silva Injury Law firm. Our compassionate team is committed to supporting survivors, advocating for their rights, and seeking justice on their behalf. Schedule a confidential consultation with us to discuss your case and explore your legal options.

Questions about a sexual assault claim? Talk to Cassidy About Your Case Or, call our office 24/7 at 209-600-4389