Sexual Abuse Lawyer in New York City

Sexual abuse can be an incredibly traumatic experience that leaves lasting scars. But you don’t have to navigate the aftermath of these incidents alone. Our empathetic NYC sexual abuse lawyers are here to guide and support you every step of the way.

The Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Firm team
The Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Firm team
The Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Firm team
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Compassionate NYC Sexual Abuse Attorneys on Your Side

Sexual violence is a devastating reality in New York City. In 2023, the NYPD reported 1,455 cases of rape. And these are just the known cases — unfortunately, many survivors never report their experiences out of fear or shame.

If you’ve been sexually abused, you may feel lost and alone. But it’s important to remember that support is available to help you recover and pursue justice. Our New York sexual assault lawyers understand the trauma you’re facing, and we’ll guide you with compassion and relentlessly fight to protect your rights.

If you or someone you care about has been the victim of sexual assault, we’re here to help. Call (212) 869-3500 today, or contact us online for a free, confidential consultation with a sexual abuse attorney.

Common Types of Sexual Abuse & Sexual Assault

According to RAINN, a sexual assault happens somewhere in the United States every 68 seconds. Sexual assault takes many forms, but it usually boils down to sexual contact perpetrated without consent. ‍

To be clear, consent must be given voluntarily, knowingly, and mutually. It can be stated in words or actions so long as it creates explicit consent — it is not enough for a person to be silent or not resist.

Furthermore, there are several situations in which a person cannot legally consent, including when the victim is:

  • Incapacitated
  • Coerced
  • Mentally disabled
  • Intoxicated
  • Under the age of 17 (with exceptions)

Finally, it’s important to remember that anyone in your life could potentially commit abuse, including a family member, family friend, friend, teacher, minister, or stranger. Sexual violence can also happen to anyone, regardless of gender identity, biological sex, race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.

Common types of sexual violence, as defined by New York law, are briefly described below.

Sexual Harassment​

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment usually takes the form of sexually offensive remarks or sexual gestures. It can also include coerced sexual acts, but this usually crosses into the definition of sexual assault.

Forcible Touching

Forcible touching can occur in one of two ways. The first is when the perpetrator uses force (minor or otherwise) to touch another person’s sexual or intimate body parts for sexual gratification or to degrade or abuse the person. This can look like squeezing, grabbing, or pinching.

There is another legal definition of forcible touching that can result in an additional criminal charge for the perpetrator if such contact occurs while the victim is a passenger on a bus, train, or subway car whose operation is authorized in New York.

Sexual Misconduct

Sexual misconduct occurs when a person does not obtain consent before engaging in:

  • Sexual intercourse
  • Oral sexual conduct
  • Anal sexual conduct

This type of sexual violence often occurs when a superior or person of authority takes advantage of another person. Examples include relationships between doctors and patients, teachers and students, employers and employees, and priests and parishioners.

Oral and Anal Sexual Misconduct

Oral and Anal Sexual Misconduct

Specifically, oral and anal sexual conduct are criminal acts when the perpetrator does not obtain consent.

However, this consent cannot legally be given if:

  • A person 21 years old or older performs oral or anal sex with a person who is younger than 17 years old.
  • A person 18 years old or older performs oral or anal sex with a person who is younger than 15 years old.

This means that if someone is 15 or 16, oral or anal sex with someone else aged 18 to 20 would not be considered a criminal offense.


Rape occurs when someone engages in sexual intercourse:

  • Without the other person’s consent.
  • With a person younger than 17 years old (unless there is no more than a 4-year age gap).
  • With a person who cannot consent due to mental incapacity or mental disability.

It’s crucial to remember that there are various exceptions and clarifications under New York’s sexual abuse laws. For example, there are no exceptions for aggravated sexual abuse when the victim is less than 11 years old.

To ensure you understand the full legal implications of your situation, you should contact a New York sexual abuse lawyer immediately.

Seeking Justice and Healing: What Our Sexual Abuse Lawyers Can Do for You

Seeking Justice and Healing: What Our Sexual Abuse Lawyers Can Do for You

At the Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Firm, we’re ready to guide you on your path to justice and healing.

Here’s how our compassionate sexual abuse attorneys fight for survivors:

  • Understanding your story: We listen with empathy and without judgment — your experience is valid, and we'll work to ensure you feel heard and believed.
  • Protecting your rights: We'll carefully explain your legal options, including criminal charges, civil lawsuits, and protective orders if needed.
  • Building a strong case: We'll gather evidence, consult experts, and prepare a compelling case to secure the best possible outcome in your situation.
  • Fighting for maximum compensation: We'll pursue every avenue of compensation, including medical expenses, pain and suffering, and ongoing therapy.
  • Advocating with compassion: We'll handle all legal complexities, shielding you from unnecessary stress so you can focus on healing.

We know that sexual abuse cases are incredibly sensitive, and the pain (physical and mental) victims face is immeasurable. That’s why we treat our clients with the immense respect they deserve and work tirelessly to hold abusers and their enablers accountable.

Contact our NYC sexual abuse lawyers today for a free, confidential consultation.

Start Your Path to Justice: Talk to a NYC Sexual Assault Lawyer Today

Our NYC sexual abuse lawyers offer compassionate guidance and fierce advocacy. We work on a contingency basis, which means you pay nothing unless we win your case.

Schedule a free consultation and take control of your path to healing without any upfront costs or financial risk.

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What to Do After Sexual Assault: A Guide for Survivors

While it’s vital to remember that you are not responsible for an assault, there are several things you should do to protect yourself and pursue justice. If you do not take action, it can significantly impact your healing and legal options.

With that in mind, here are several crucial steps to take in the aftermath of a sexual abuse incident.

Prioritize Your Safety

First, get to a place where you feel safe. If you're in immediate danger, call 911.

Seek Medical Care

Go to a hospital or clinic to get your injuries treated and preserve potential evidence. A sexual assault forensic exam (sometimes called a rape kit) can collect valuable DNA evidence. In order to preserve the integrity of exam results, try not to shower or change clothes beforehand.

Get Emotional Support

Get Emotional Support

To mitigate the immediate trauma following sexual abuse, it’s important to seek out emotional support. You can reach out to a trusted friend or family member or contact a crisis hotline. The New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NYSCASA) offers confidential support at (800) 942-6906.

Consider Reporting

You have the right to report the assault to the police. This can initiate criminal proceedings, but even if you decide not to prosecute, it creates a formal record of the incident.

Seek Mental Health Care

To help you heal and avoid negative long-term effects, therapy or counseling can be crucial in processing trauma and supporting your recovery.

Explore Legal Options

An experienced sexual assault attorney can explain your rights to file a criminal case and/or a civil lawsuit for damages. They can help you achieve justice and/or financial compensation for your losses if you decide to pursue legal action.

These steps can be difficult, but they’re also incredibly important. Contact the Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Firm for compassionate legal guidance and to fight for the justice you deserve.

Understanding Institutional Abuse: Where Predators May Lurk

Understanding Institutional Abuse: Where Predators May Lurk

Sexual abuse can happen anywhere, but certain environments tend to create more opportunities for predators to exploit positions of power. These abusers often manipulate their authority to target vulnerable individuals.

Therefore, it’s important to be aware of the types of places where institutional abuse is more likely to occur:

  • Schools and universities: Students of any age can be victims, with perpetrators ranging from teachers to coaches to other students.
  • Healthcare settings: Abuse can happen in hospitals, nursing homes, and doctor's offices, where patients are often physically and emotionally vulnerable.
  • Religious organizations: Pastors, deacons, and church leaders exploit positions of spiritual authority to groom and abuse victims of all ages.
  • Youth organizations: Sports teams, clubs, and mentorship programs can provide abusers with easy access to vulnerable children.
  • Workplaces: Abusers may be supervisors, coworkers, or clients, exploiting power dynamics or creating hostile environments.

It’s important to remember that these institutions are not inherently unsafe. While some organizations are more susceptible to such risks due to the power dynamics involved, many people working in these environments are dedicated and ethical. However, understanding potential risks is crucial to prevention and seeking help if abuse occurs.

Furthermore, this information is never intended to blame victims, and you should not feel guilty or be blamed for your choice to be in an environment where there should be an implicit level of trust. Abusers are solely responsible for their actions, and you have a right to expect safety and security.

If you or someone you know has experienced institutional sexual abuse, please know that you’re not alone. Our compassionate sexual assault lawyers are here to listen and fight for justice.

Holding Abusers Accountable: Understand Your Legal Options

Holding Abusers Accountable: Understand Your Legal Options

Do not let your abuser or anyone else fool you. Sexual assault is a crime, and you have every right to pursue justice. Furthermore, even though the government may pursue a criminal case, you also may have the option of filing a civil lawsuit against your attacker and potentially others responsible for enabling the abuse.

There are a few key differences between criminal cases and civil lawsuits. First of all, the objective of a criminal case is to punish the perpetrator through consequences like prison time and fines. On the other hand, a civil lawsuit focuses on obtaining financial compensation for damages suffered by the survivor. These damages are meant to cover losses such as medical bills and pain and suffering, but they can also take the form of punitive damages to further punish the perpetrator.

Secondly, each type of case has a different burden of proof. Criminal cases require guilt "beyond a reasonable doubt,” while civil lawsuits consider the "preponderance of the evidence." This is a far less strict evaluation of evidence, in which the judge or jury determines whether the situation was more or less likely to have occurred — put simply, if 51% of the evidence favors your position, that is enough to win a civil case.

Finally, your role as the victim is also different. In a criminal case, you're a witness. In a civil case, you're the plaintiff who brings the case against your attacker, giving you more control over the process.

Why Pursue a Civil Lawsuit?

You might think that a criminal case is sufficient to achieve justice in your situation.

However, there are a few reasons why you should consider pursuing a civil case:

  • Financial compensation: Survivors may be entitled to compensation to cover medical costs, therapy, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses.
  • Holding parties accountable: Lawsuits can punish individuals, but they can also hold accountable institutions that were legally obligated to protect you from harm.
  • Seeking closure: While money cannot undo trauma, a civil case can be an empowering tool for survivors to reclaim control of their lives.

A reputable sexual abuse attorney can help you pursue these goals and achieve justice in your case.

Building a Civil Case After Sexual Assault: Essential Elements

Building a Civil Case After Sexual Assault: Essential Elements

To win a civil sexual assault case, your legal team must prove several key elements:

  • Intentional act: Your legal team must prove that the perpetrator deliberately engaged in a sexual act, physical or otherwise — however, an unintentional action committed in drunkenness is not a defense unless the perpetrator was inebriated against their will.
  • Lack of consent: You must show that you didn't agree to the sexual act — this can be proven in various ways, including if you were physically unable to consent or if the perpetrator used coercion or threats.
  • Losses: You and your attorney must demonstrate that you suffered harm as a direct result of the abuse — this harm can be physical, emotional, financial, or otherwise and includes physical injuries, emotional distress, medical bills, and other potential losses.

Because your case can depend on so many factors that can be difficult to prove, consult with a sexual abuse attorney to make the best possible case.

Potential Defendants in Sexual Assault Lawsuits

Besides the perpetrator, other potentially liable parties include the following:

  • Property owners or landlords have a duty to maintain safe premises and to prevent foreseeable acts of violence.
  • Employers can be held liable when they fail to protect employees and take proactive measures against acts of violence.
  • Institutions or organizations (e.g., a school or church) are negligent when they know of an alleged sexual assault and fail to report it or know of its threat but fail to act accordingly.

Your attorney can help identify all culpable parties and pursue legal action against anyone responsible for the crime committed against you.

Financial Compensation for the Harm Caused by Sexual Assault

Financial Compensation for the Harm Caused by Sexual Assault

While no amount of money can undo the trauma of a sexual assault, a civil lawsuit can help you reclaim financial compensation to aid in the costs of healing and rebuilding your life.

This financial compensation takes many forms, including economic damage that covers tangible losses such as:

  • Medical expenses (past and future)
  • Therapy and mental health treatment
  • Lost wages and reduced earning potential

Non-economic damages address the intangible impact of the abuse, including:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

Finally, in cases of particularly egregious behavior, the court may award punitive damages to punish the perpetrator and discourage further deviance.

Because every case is unique, the compensation you may be entitled to will depend on the severity of the abuse and its impact on your life. A seasoned sexual assault lawyer can assess your case and estimate potential damages.

Seeking compensation isn’t just about money — it’s about getting the resources you need to aid in your healing. Our compassionate attorneys will fight to secure the maximum compensation you deserve.

NY Statute of Limitations on Filing a Criminal Claim or Lawsuit After a Sex Crime

NY Statute of Limitations on Filing a Criminal Claim or Lawsuit After a Sex Crime

There’s a specific amount of time in which you must file a criminal complaint or a civil lawsuit, or else you will no longer be able to. This time period is known as the statute of limitations.

For first-degree rape or the predatory sexual assault of the child, there is no statute of limitations for criminal charges. For second-degree rape, there is a 20-year statute of limitations. For third-degree rape, the statute of limitations is 10 years. If you wish to file a civil suit in cases of rape, the time limit is 20 years, no matter the severity of the rape.

The statute of limitations for child sex crimes is a little different. The Child Victims Act of 2019 made it so that victims of child sex crimes can file a civil claim until the age of 55. The theory behind this law is that many child victims are not able to process or come forward with their claims for many years after the abuse took place.

In cases of sexual harassment, victims of sexual harassment have up to three years to file a claim or lawsuit against the alleged offender.

Finally, if victims wish to pursue civil action against negligent property owners, employers, or other parties, the statute of limitations is three years from the date of the sexual assault.

These rules can be quite complicated, with exceptions and variations depending on the scenario. For example, New York’s 2022 Adult Survivors Act effectively abolished the state’s statute of limitations for sex crimes for one year, allowing victims to come forward no matter how long ago the offense occurred. Therefore, you should seek legal advice to determine whether you have a claim if your abuse happened many years ago.


Our Clients’ Reviews


I cannot rate the firm any higher! we are extremely happy with the service we received from Brad, Chris and the team. We are northern Irish citizens and as such had no experience of the US justice system, Chris and Brad helped us navigate this and made sure we understood every step of the process and we were kept informed of what would happen with the case.

We also felt that Brad and Chris had a genuine interest in our story, what the implications for us as a family were and they were genuinely invested in how they could help our situation.

We were reassured by the manor in which Chris and Brad dealt with us and trusted that the advice we were given was always well balanced and in our best interests. We were extremely happy with the outcome the firm achieved for us and feel that we only got this outcome due to the hard work of Chris and Brad. I would not hesitate to recommend the firm to anyone who is considering a case and wants to feel as though they are really valued as a client.

Many thanks to the firm for all of their hard work on our behalf it truly is appreciated.

Leanne Montgomery




Let’s go to the beginning when I realize that I was going to need legal assistance because I was shocked that I was actually injured I called my fiancé and told her that I was going to need a lawyer, so she googled the top 5  personal injury law firms in NY and The Jacob Fuchsberg Law Firm came up. One of the representatives from the firm took the time to come personally to my home to see me, that immediately showed me that I was going to be able to make it through my pain and suffering they understood what I was going through and with patience, persistence, and diligence they were able to get the best results possible in settling my case. I highly recommend the Jacob Fuchsberg Law firm when the unexpected happens you will not be dissatisfied with the kind, courteous and professionalism that you would expect from a law firm.

Keith Middleton




Very satisfied with the representation I was given from this law firm.  I would recommend Fuchsberg to anyone with a unique situation such as mine. My attorney went above and beyond to ensure everything was done thoroughly and in a timely manner! Everything about this firm exceeded my expectations! Very special thank you to Chris,  Allison, and Brad!

Marie Price



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Your Voice Matters: Contact Us to Start Your Sexual Abuse Claim

If you’ve been a victim of sexual abuse in New York, don’t wait to get the help you need. Contact the Jason D. Fuchsberg Law Firm today to schedule a consultation and pursue the justice you deserve. Our dedicated legal team is ready to fight for your rights and ensure you receive the compensation you need to move forward.

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