Sexual Abuse Attorney in Anchorage, Alaska
Every day, hundreds of people across the country become victims of sexual abuse. Every time sexual abuse is committed, there is one more person left with emotional scars and lifelong suffering.
If you have become a victim of sexual abuse, you should not go through these trying times alone. I am here to help you regain peace in your life and get the justice you need. With my compassionate support at the Law Office of Jason Skala, LLC, you can finally fight back. I have years of experience representing sexual abuse and injury victims throughout Anchorage, Alaska, as well as Kotzebue, Bethel, and Barrow (Utqiagvik).
Sexual Abuse and the Age of Consent in Alaska
Sexual abuse—commonly referred to as sexual assault—occurs when someone touches or penetrates another person without their consent. Sexual abuse can take the form of sexual contact or sexual penetration. And it is a crime regardless of whether the offender forces themselves on you or forces you to touch/penetrate them.
It's also important to understand how Alaska law defines consent when it comes to holding offenders accountable for sexual abuse. Consent is defined as a voluntary agreement between persons who participate in sexual activity. Consent must be given clearly and voluntarily without any pressure or coercion.
According to the Alaska Bar Association, the state’s age of consent is 16 years. This means that individuals who are at least 16 years of age can legally agree to participate in sexual activity. Whether or not individuals under the age of 16 can consent depends on the difference in ages:
persons aged 16 and older cannot have sex with individuals aged 13 or younger under any circumstances; and
teenagers cannot have sex with individuals who are four or more years older.
Also, persons who are incapacitated by alcohol, drugs, or medication cannot give consent, even if they consumed the substance voluntarily.
Sexual Abuse From People in a Position of Trust
Under Alaska law, it is considered a crime for individuals who hold positions of authority over minors to engage in sexual activity with them. The term “position of trust” refers to having responsibility over the education, welfare, supervision, or health of a minor. Examples of people in positions of trust include:
doctors and other medical professionals
If you suffered sexual abuse from a person in a position of trust, you can sue the abuser for physical injuries, emotional and psychological harm, and long-term damage. No matter what, it’s in your best interest to consult with sexual abuse attorney in Anchorage, Alaska, to learn the full extent of your legal rights and options.
Filing a Civil Claim for Sexual Abuse
If you are a victim of sexual abuse, it can be challenging to know what steps to take to seek justice. Fortunately, Alaska law allows sexual abuse survivors to file civil claims against the offender to hold them accountable for their heinous and wrongful acts.
Before filing a civil claim for sexual abuse, you need to understand the difference between civil and criminal cases:
In a criminal case the government files charges against the offender, and if they are found guilty, the offender may face criminal penalties, such as jail time and fines.
A civil case, on the other hand, is initiated by the victim, and they are seeking compensation for their damages. In a civil case for sexual abuse, the victim is seeking damages for their physical, emotional, and mental trauma, and the offender may be ordered to pay monetary compensation.
If you decide to file a civil claim for sexual abuse, you may be entitled to various types of damages. These damages can include medical expenses related to the abuse, loss of income, mental anguish, and punitive damages, among others. Under Alaska law, punitive damages are awarded if the defendant demonstrated reckless indifference to the interest of another person or their conduct is considered “outrageous.”
Under Alaska law, there is no statute of limitations for felony sexual assault victims (e.g., forcible rape), which means you can seek a civil claim at any time no matter how many years have passed since the date the act was committed.
Minor Victims: For felony sex abuse or unlawful exploitation, there is no statute of limitations. This law covers such acts as sexual penetration, sexual contact with minors of different ages, and many others. Victims of misdemeanor sex abuse and incest must file a lawsuit within three years after turning 18 years old or after the injury was discovered – if a parent or guardian files the lawsuit on the minor’s behalf.
Adult Victims There is no statute of limitations for victims of felony sexual assault, i.e., forcible rape. The deadline is three years for most other forms of sexual misconduct, including felony indecent exposure, misdemeanor sexual assault, and related forms of misconduct.
Sexual Abuse Attorney in Anchorage, Alaska
If you are a sexual abuse survivor, I am here to offer you a helping hand in seeking justice and financial compensation. As a sexual abuse attorney in Anchorage, Alaska, I have learned from my clients that survivors have been through an unthinkable tragedy, which is why I handle each case with the utmost confidentiality and compassion. Reach out to me at the Law Office of Jason Skala, LLC, to schedule a free case review.