Sexual assault is a crime. These crimes are among some of the most serious violations of the law and can include rape, child molestation, and aggravated sexual assault. However, these crimes are notoriously difficult to prosecute in criminal court and often leave the victim without justice.


For example, in 2017, a victim rights organization (using Department of Justice statistics) estimates that out of 1,000 rapes committed, only 230 are reported to police and of those, only 46 lead to an arrest. Furthermore, only five of those lead to a felony conviction.


Why Pursue a Civil Remedy?

Many victims never get closure through the criminal justice system. Fortunately, there is another way that a victim can hold his or her abuser accountable. Victims may find justice through the court system by filing a civil lawsuit where a jury holds the abuser accountable for the harms he caused.


Third Party Liability

Many times, a third person or entity bears responsibility for the victim’s harm.  Employers and businesses have been held accountable for sexual assault of adults. School districts, churches, child protective services, hockey clubs, soccer clubs,  and youth clubs/groups have all been held accountable for sexual abuse of children. The Catholic church abuse cases are an example of this.

Often times, a lawsuit against a third party is based on a failure to properly hire, train and supervise its employees. It can stem from an organization’s failure to take proper steps to ensure that its employees were in compliance with state or federally mandated background checks. For example, if a daycare agency failed to comply with appropriate background checks on an employee who had supervision over children and is alleged to have sexually abused them, that agency faces potential liability, especially if the appropriate background check would have shown a potential problem with the employee’s past behavior.  Third party liability can also be found where the entity vouched for its employee, then afforded the employee the opportunity within its organization to groom and sexual abuse children.



An important reason to pursue a civil remedy is to obtain a recovery for the harms and losses you have suffered.  A sexual assault victim may or may not have suffered a physical injury, but he or she likely suffered a psychological injury.  Very often, a sex assault victim suffers from “Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder” (PTSD) resulting from the assault.  This disorder results from a combination of physical and/or psychological injuries and may requires years of treatment.

Sexual assault can happen anywhere and to anyone. If you are a victim of sexual assault in Alaska, you may want to hold the abuser and/or a third party responsible.  The experienced attorneys at Power & Power Law understand the complexities of such cases and have successfully represented for both children and adults.  To find out what we can do for you, give us a call at 907-222-9990 or toll free at 833-669-9990, or click here and put our decades of experience to work for you.