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Rape & Sexual Assault Victim Lawyer in Georgia

Georgia Sexual Assault & Rape Lawyer

We help victims of rape and sexual assault fight back.

Too often, sexual attackers get away with it. According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, there are over 300,000 victims of sexual assault each year in the United States. Sadly, many attackers escape the criminal justice system—the overwhelming majority of rapists are never imprisoned. We help victims use the civil justice system to hold sexual attackers and their enablers accountable. Contact our Georgia rape lawyer today.

Standing up to a sexual attacker is hard.  Calling a law firm about a rape or sexual assault takes bravery. We admire our clients who have found the strength to come forward. Many of our clients say that they called us so that what happened to them wouldn’t happen to anyone else. That is courage. Contact our Georgia sexual assault lawyer today.

Preventing Rape and Sexual Assault in Georgia

A depressed victim of a sexual assaultOften, rape or sexual assault at apartment complexes or other businesses can be prevented by commonsense security measures. Businesses like apartments, hotels, or clubs should have enough lights, gates, and security guards to protect residents, customers, and their guests. Georgia law requires that business owners take reasonable measures to protect the people invited onto their property. Sturbridge Partners Ltd. v. Walker, 267 Ga. 785, 787 (1997).  Apartment or business owners who know about previous crimes on the property should take extra steps to make sure that they aren’t placing their residents and customers—from whom the owners are making money, after all—at risk of sexual violence or other crimes.

Institutions like treatment centers, schools, and churches should also take steps to make sure that their patients, students, and members aren’t in danger of rape or sexual assault. The steps are simple. Institutions should run background checks and hire the right people.  After hiring the right people, institutions should train and supervise them. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen—and when it doesn’t, victims can hold institutions responsible for negligent hiring, negligent training, or negligent supervision. See Allen v. Zion Baptist Church of Braselton, 328 Ga. App. 208, 212-15 (2014). Our firm has handled cases against a psychological treatment facility where an employee raped a minor patient, against schools where teachers sexually assaulted or molested students, and against churches where a pastor committed statutory rape against his own members. None of that should ever happen. If it does, we hold the responsible parties accountable. Our rape lawyers in Georgia can help.

Pursuing Justice for Victims of Sexual Abuse in Georgia

While the criminal justice system imposes criminal penalties on the people who commit these criminal acts, an experienced sexual assault lawyer Georgia trusts will pursue civil remedies against the criminal and other responsible parties. The district attorneys use criminal statutes to stop criminals; sex abuse lawyers use civil statutes to obtain compensation for victims.

A victim’s life will be upended forever after a case of rape or sexual assault. We have learned from handling these types of cases that some of the detrimental effects and challenges victims often have to deal with afterward include:

  • Ongoing severe anxiety and depression
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder and nightmares
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Difficulty concentrating or working, which can lead to unemployment and loss of income
  • Withdrawal from school, activities, and personal relationships
  • High expenses from medical or counseling bills
  • Fear of intimacy

When we get involved, we investigate why the criminal was ever in a position where he was even able to engage in his terrible behavior. We want to make sure that in addition to the attacker, anyone else whose negligence made it possible for you to be assaulted is held responsible. This could mean a property owner or security company who failed to take proper safety precautions like adequate lighting or security fences or schools that heard rumors of teachers inappropriately touching students but failed to install cameras. That’s why it is crucial that victims consult with a sexual assault lawyer Georgia can count on as soon as possible. You want a lawyer who will engage in a thorough investigation in the early stages. Our sexual assault lawyers in Georgia can help.

Damages in Sexual Assault Cases

The damages you are entitled to are based on the physical and emotional harm you suffered from the sexual assault. The purpose of a civil lawsuit involving sex abuse is different from a criminal case’s purpose: rather than seeking to punish a convicted perpetrator through prison time, a plaintiff seeks to make things right, insofar as it is possible to do so, through a monetary award.

Some of the situations for which a sexual assault lawyer in Georgia might pursue damages for you include situations where another party made it possible for the assault to occur. That could mean:

  • Sexual assault or rape in an apartment complex or other business with negligent security
  • Sexual assault or rape while in a hotel with broken locks or inadequate security procedures
  • Sexual assault during a massage at Massage Envy or another location
  • Sexual assault, rape, or sexual contact of any kind by a medical professional, counselor, psychiatrist, or doctor
  • Sexual assault, rape, or sexual contact of any kind by a teacher
  • Sexual assault or rape by a religious church leader who you trusted -Sexual assault while you were under anesthesia
  • Sexual assault or rape while in a parking lot with poor lighting and no security guard

No matter why, where, or when it happened, sex abuse in Georgia is never acceptable. Taking advantage of someone is never tolerable.

Jeb butler standing next to a client
Lequita Jackson, the firm’s client, stands with a Butler Kahn attorney at a press conference at the Capitol about the Hidden Predator Act.

Criminal Prosecutions vs. Civil Lawsuits for Sexual Assault or Rape

The criminal and civil justice systems are different. Most people are more familiar with the criminal justice system because it is featured on television shows like Law and Order and Matlock. In the criminal justice system, the state or federal government brings a case against an individual person. The government may prosecute a defendant for O.C.G.A. § 16-6-1 (rape), O.C.G.A. § 16-6-5.1 (sexual assault), O.C.G.A. § 16 6-22.1 (sexual battery), O.C.G.A. § 16-6-5.1 (sexual contact between teacher and student), O.C.G.A. § 16-6-4 (child molestation), O.C.G.A. § 16-6-5 (enticing a child), or O.C.G.A. § 16-6-3 (statutory rape). In order for the state or federal government to win at trial, the government must prove its case “beyond a reasonable doubt.”  If the defendant pleads guilty or is convicted, the defendant is likely to serve time in prison.

In the civil justice system—the area in which Butler Kahn works—an individual person who has been harmed or wronged can bring a case against the person or business who committed the wrong. The person bringing this lawsuit specifies, in a document called a “Complaint,” what was done to harm him or her. Such claims could include the crimes referred to above (i.e., rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual contact between teacher and student, child molestation, enticing a child, or statutory rape) or additional claims such as negligent hiring, negligent training, or negligent supervision. To win at trial, the harmed person must prove his or her case by what the law calls the “preponderance of evidence,” which means “more likely than not.” If the harmed person wins at trial or if the defendant settles, then the person who was harmed is normally entitled to monetary compensation. In certain cases, the court can enter an “injunction,” a special order that gives the defendant a specific directive. For instance, our firm has sought an injunction to prevent a sexually abusive pastor from ever preaching again. Contact our rape lawyers in Georgia today.

Sex Crimes in Georgia: Punishment for Sexual Assault or Rape

The criminal code has strict definitions and punishments for sexual assault, rape, and other sex crimes. Aggressors can be charged with sexual assault, statutory rape, sodomy, and sexual battery. In Georgia, a person commits the crime of sexual battery when he intentionally makes contact with the intimate parts of someone else’s body without consent. As defined in O.C.G.A. § 16-6- 22.1, “intimate parts mean the primary genital area, anus, groin, inner thighs, or buttocks of a male or female and the breasts of a female.”

These rules can be enforced in civil cases as well. Further, property owners must provide adequate security for their customers or tenants. Georgia imposes a “non-delegable duty”—meaning that the duty can’t be passed on to someone else—on property owners to provide reasonable safety measures. O.C.G.A. § 51-3-1. Property owners must “exercise reasonable care to make the premises safe” for customers, tenants, or tenants’ guests. Robinson v. Kroger, 268 Ga. 735, 741 (1997). Institutions like treatment centers, schools, and churches must provide reasonable safety through their hiring, training, and supervision programs. O.C.G.A. § 34-7-20; Allen v. Zion Baptist Church of Braselton, 328 Ga. App. 208, 212-15 (2014).

Representing Victims of Rape and Sexual Assault

We understand how severe the effects of sexual assault can be, and we understand how sensitive the issues are for our clients. All potential clients who call our firm are entitled to attorney-client confidentiality under Bar Rule 1.6, even if we do not formally represent them. We understand that some of our clients want to publicly identify their attackers, and others want to keep their names confidential. Those wishes should be honored.

Sexual violence takes away a sense of security that may never be fully recovered. If you are reading this page because you or someone you love has been a victim of rape or sexual assault, we are sorry. We hope the page has been helpful.

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