Articles Posted in Sexual assault

gavel-214x300In 2018, Michigan signed Public Acts 180 and 181 into law, providing victims of sexual assault more time to file both civil claims and criminal complaints. The legislation was spearheaded by a group of sexual assault survivors led by Rachael Denhollander. Denhollander is the first woman to come forward with allegations against gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. Nassar assaulted numerous gymnasts under the guise of providing medical treatment and is currently serving a 175-year sentence in a Florida federal prison.

Under the new laws, the statute of limitations for sexual assault cases was extended. The former law required a lawsuit to be filed within three years of the assault. This was amended to allow suit any time before the survivor of sexual assault turns 28-years old. Under the new provision, the perpetrator need not be convicted of criminal conduct in order to be sued.

The law also opened a 90-day window for suit against perpetrators of sexual assault by an individual who was convicted of criminal sexual conduct, and who admitted to either (1) being a physician in a position of authority over the victim and using that authority for coercion; or (2)  engaging in purported medical treatment that is considered unethical. The 90-day window applied to assaults occurring after December 31, 1996. This provision is apparently tailored to permit lawsuits against Nassar, as both the time constraints and specific elements coincide with the facts of his case.

A Detroit-area resident recently sued Delta Air Lines, arguing it negligently failed to protect her from being molested on her flight home from South Carolina in 2016. She filed the lawsuit in Wayne County Superior Court last month, asking for $10 million in damages.A 41-year-old man from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina was sentenced in March after pleading guilty to misdemeanor simple assault and indecent exposure. He was ordered to pay $1,000 in fines, pay $400 in restitution, and spend seven days in jail. The plaintiff claimed the defendant, a long-haul trucker, came over to the seat next to her and slipped his hand up her shorts. She told reporters she was trapped in her window seat and was “frozen with terror.” According to the lawsuit, the defendant told the plaintiff he liked white women and asked where her “man” was. She repeatedly told him to stop. Delta has declined to comment on the lawsuit. The company offered her $2,500 in ticket vouchers.

Continue reading

Grand Rapids citizen Steven J. Moerman filed suit against the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC), claiming he was raped by a social worker while he was incarcerated for drug charges. Moerman filed suit in September in Jackson County Circuit Court. Moerman alleged violations by MDOC, the social worker, and several state officials.The lawsuit claims the social worker, Susan Clingerman, used the inmate “as the object of her own sexual gratification” and desperately wished to get pregnant. Clingerman contends that the relationship was consensual, and Moerman is simply trying to make money with the lawsuit.

Continue reading

Contact Information