The Child Victims Act in New York State
Hilton Central School & Northwood Elementary School
Child sexual abuse is a traumatic and devastating experience that can have long-lasting effects on the victim and their loved ones. Victims of child sexual abuse may feel a range of emotions such as fear, shame, guilt, and anger. They may also experience physical symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Families of child sexual abuse victims may also suffer from the trauma of the abuse, as well as the emotional and financial toll of supporting their loved one through the healing process. They may also feel anger and frustration towards the perpetrator, and may struggle with feelings of guilt and responsibility.
Victims of child sexual abuse and their families need support, understanding, and validation. They need access to counseling and therapy to help them process their emotions and trauma. They also need legal support to navigate the legal process and hold the perpetrator accountable for their actions.
New York Child Victims Act
In a lawsuit, including claims under New York’s Child Victims Act, victims of child sexual abuse may be able to win damages for their physical and emotional suffering, as well as for any financial losses they have suffered as a result of the abuse. This may include compensation for medical expenses, lost income, and therapy costs. In some cases, victims may also be able to win punitive damages, which are intended to punish the perpetrator and deter future abuse.
It is important to note that the rights of victims and their families vary by state and it is important to seek legal advice to understand the rights and options in your state.
The Child Victims Act in New York state, for example, expands the statute of limitations for criminal and civil cases involving child sexual abuse, and also creates a one-year "lookback" window, allowing survivors to file civil lawsuits against their abusers regardless of when the abuse occurred. The expanded statute of limitations for criminal cases means that survivors now have until the age of 28 to file criminal charges against their abuser, and until the age of 55 to file civil lawsuits. Additionally, the one-year "lookback" window means that any survivor, regardless of when the abuse occurred, can file a civil lawsuit against their abuser during the one-year period.
The Child Victims Act also includes provisions to protect the rights of survivors during the legal process, such as the ability to file a lawsuit anonymously and the ability to request an order of protection during the litigation.
Northwood Elementary School Sexual Abuse Case
One notable case of the Child Victims Act in action is the 2022 conviction of Kirk Ashton, the former principal of Northwood Elementary School in the Hilton Central School District. Ashton was found guilty of 46 counts, including course of sexual conduct against a child in the 2nd degree, sexual abuse in the 1st degree, and endangering the welfare of a child. The victims of Ashton's abuse were students at Northwood Elementary School, ranging in attendance from 2014-2021, when Ashton was principal of the school. The "ongoing sexual abuse" involved 21 victims.
The Child Victims Act is a crucial step in the fight against child sexual abuse and the pursuit of justice for survivors. If you or someone you know was a victim of Kirk Ashton or is a survivor of child sexual abuse, we encourage you to take advantage of the rights and protections provided by this law.
For more information on the Child Victims Act, please visit the New York State Office of Children and Family Services website or contact us here. You may also wish to contact the Bivona Child Advocacy Center, who have trained counselors and know how to assist families through these crises.
If you or someone you know attended Northwood Elementary School between 2014 and 2021 and are unsure of what may have occurred or have questions about the law, then feel free to contact us.
You can also visit the Hilton Central School District's Road to Recovery Sexual Abuse Prevention Action Plan website to learn more about their initiatives to keep children safe at: Hilton.k12.ny.us/RoadtoRecovery.
The Child Victims Act is a crucial step in the fight against child sexual abuse and the pursuit of justice for survivors. If you or someone you know is a survivor of child sexual abuse, we encourage you to take advantage of the rights and protections provided by this law.
For more information on the Child Victims Act, please visit the New York State Office of Children and Family Services website or contact a local legal aid organization.
Contact Our New York Child Sexual Abuse Lawyers
It is important for victims of child sexual abuse and their families to seek help and support as soon as possible. If you or someone you know is a victim of child sexual abuse, please seek help and support from a local counseling service organization and/or the New York State Office of Children and Family Services, Bivona Child Advocacy Center, or contact us and we can provide contact information.
Call 585-294-0303 to speak to a child sexual abuse attorney at Glennon Law Firm, P.C.
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