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Evidence for a Sexual Assault Civil Lawsuit

In Georgia, sexual assault victims can seek financial compensation from their assailant. Any monetary award provides a measure of accountability for the harm you suffered. It can also help pay for medical care, counseling, and other expenses. Of course, financial compensation doesn’t make up for the assault—not at all. Nonetheless, it can certainly help a victim feel vindicated. We have seen civil suits for rape and other sex crimes transform lives.

These are complicated cases. Your assailant can raise many defenses—”nothing happened,” or if it did happen, “you consented,” and so on. We need solid evidence to show you were assaulted in a sexual manner by the defendant, without permission.

At Stewart Miller Simmons Trial Lawyers, we have decades of experience helping assault victims seek justice by bringing civil claims. Please call our firm today to discuss your case. We can identify possible evidence and preserve it for use in your case. Often, we can successfully negotiate a settlement with the defendant so that a trial isn’t necessary, protecting your identity and privacy. Give us a call to schedule a consultation with an Atlanta sexual assault lawyer at our firm.

Below, we highlight some of the most important pieces of evidence. You might not have all of this evidence for use in your case, but we will search for anything that is helpful.

Your Testimony about the Incident

Any victim of sexual assault can testify about what they endured. Your testimony has value. Please call our law office to talk about the assault in a safe, confidential environment. We can help you document the assault.

Some victims cannot tell us what happened. For example, the victim might be an elderly person with dementia, an adult with a serious mental impairment, or a young child. The good news is that we can still bring a case provided we have other evidence.

Although your testimony is valuable, it’s always better to bolster a claim with other evidence, so we try to use as much of the following as possible.

Other Witness Testimony

Did someone else observe the assault? For example:

  • Coworkers could have observed an assault which took place at work.
  • Bystanders could have observed the defendant grope or attack you in public or in a store.
  • Friends and family could have spoken to you soon after the attack and thought something traumatic happened to you.

This testimony helps us establish you were assaulted. Testimony from third party witnesses is particularly powerful. A judge or jury is more likely to believe a third party than the victim. That’s unfortunate, but some jurors believe a victim will tell a self-serving story, especially when suing for money.

Share with your lawyer the date and time of the attack. We can try to find witnesses to back up your claim.

Video Evidence of the Assault

Someone might have attacked you in a store or bar, where there are security cameras. Video evidence of this sort can be as persuasive as witness testimony—maybe more so. Everything depends on what the camera captures and the clarity of the video.

DNA Evidence

We sometimes use DNA evidence in rape cases, because semen usually contains high amounts of DNA. DNA isn’t required to bring a sexual assault case. In fact, not all assault involves penetration. But if you were raped, then obtaining the defendant’s DNA helps our case enormously.

When there is DNA evidence, the defendant’s story often shifts from “nothing happened” to consent.

Rape Kit Evidence

A rape kit does more than pull DNA evidence from your body. It can also find hairs, which connect the defendant to you. You should go to the hospital to have a rape kit, especially where your assailant penetrated you. Try to go as soon as possible, because you don’t want evidence to wash off in the shower.

Texts or Emails from the Defendant

Were you attacked by someone you know? For example, a friend or coworker could have sexually assaulted you. They could send text messages afterwards, possibly trying to justify what happened. These messages are strong proof that you were assaulted, and we can use them in a case.

Please share all communications between you and the defendant, as well as any message from the defendant’s friends or family. We want to read them and possibly use them to strengthen your assault claim.

Therapist Testimony

Some sexual assault victims meet with a therapist to help them process what happened and develop strategies for moving forward. You could have your therapist testify on your behalf. Talk with our legal team. Any therapist or psychiatrist is restrained by doctor-patient confidentiality rules, but you can waive them as the patient.

Courtroom Testimony

At our firm, we handle civil sexual assault cases. These are cases for financial compensation only.

However, the state might have prosecuted your assailant on criminal charges. They could have even taken the case to trial where the defendant might have testified. We might try to use their evidence against them.

Prior Sexual Assaults in the Neighborhood

We often sue property owners where the assault took place. They might have had inadequate security, based on the history of crime in the area. We can introduce evidence of previous sexual assaults. For example, a parking lot might have had multiple rapes. But the owner never installs cameras, lights, or a fence. Evidence of prior crimes helps us when showing security was lax.

Get the Legal Help You Need

Sexual assault civil lawsuits are a powerful weapon for victims to seek some measure of accountability from an assailant. Even if the criminal justice system doesn’t file charges, you might still seek financial compensation from the person who assaulted you. Civil claims have a lower burden of proof, and we only need evidence that it is more likely than not that you were victimized.

Contact Stewart Miller Simmons Trial Lawyers. We are proud to stand up for assault victims who have felt silenced and overlooked. You can schedule a confidential meeting with a compassionate lawyer, free of charge.

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