Child Sex Abuse

Child sex abuse is often committed by someone known by the child but not a member of the family. Perpetrators are people in authority who use their power to coerce children. Many times, these abusers are part of an organization more concerned with what reporting the accusations would do to its image than helping a child in danger. If you are a victim of childhood sexual abuse by someone working for a school, religious group, or leisure activity, reach out to us. We can explain the legal options open to you.

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Child Victims Act

On February 14, 2019, Governor Cuomo signed the Child Victims Act. This new law extends the time that a survivor has to report the abuse they were subject to as a child. Now, criminal charges can be brought until the survivor turns 28- years-old, and civil lawsuits can be filed until the survivor is 55-years-old.

Included in the new law is a “look-back window.” It provides a one-year period for complaints to be filed that had previously been blocked by New York State’s statute of limitations. The look-back window provides a much needed opportunity for survivors to seek justice from the courts.

Young boy at church

How We Can Help

Survivors of childhood sexual abuse should use this time to contact an experienced law firm who can advise you of your legal rights, help you prepare your case, and fight for your rights in court.

Weitz & Luxenberg has experienced lawyers who will listen to your story, and work with you to plan how to take positive steps to get your case heard. We are already helping close to 175 victims of childhood sexual abuse.

The Institutions That Let This Happen to You Should Pay

  • The responsibility for the abuse that happened lies not only with the abuser but the organization that turned a blind eye to what the abuser was doing.

    When a report of sexual abuse is made, too often the organization covers up the activity. Complaints and charges are ignored and nothing is done about the abuse. Rather than being punished, the abuser is simply moved to another part of the organization.

    When the organization ― church, school, facility, or scout troop ― knows or has reason to know that abuse is taking place, it has a responsibility to protect the child and act to stop the abuse. If the organization doesn’t, it can be held liable. The organization can be forced to pay civil damages to help make the survivor on the road to healing.

Getting Victims the Justice They Deserve

Victims of childhood sexual abuse suffer long-term effects that can impact their mental health in adulthood. Survivors of childhood sexual abuse are more likely to suffer from drug abuse, have PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), and experience a major depressive episode as an adult.(1)

It requires years of counseling and self-work to even begin to overcome these problems. The organizations and institutions who allowed this abuse to occur, and continue, should be held responsible for the damage they wrought and compensate survivors for the trauma they’ve suffered, and continue to suffer.

Filing a civil lawsuit may be able to help make that happen and bring survivors one step closer to healing from the violations they endured.

  • W&L has helped negotiate financial settlements for 140 victims.
  • Currently, we have filed lawsuits against organizations on behalf of many survivors of child sex abuse.
  • As a whole, our firm has been awarded more than $17 billion in verdicts and settlements for our clients.
  • You get the help and support of a large team; nearly 500 compassionate lawyers, paralegals, and support professionals.

Need a lawyer to help you?
We would feel privileged if you choose W&L.
For a free consultation and more information about your legal options, please contact us today.

(855) 336-3062

Attorney Spotlight

Weitz & Luxenberg has assembled a team of attorneys to help the survivors of childhood sexual abuse. These attorneys have years of experience in advocating for the rights of our clients and possess the special skills needed to work with survivors of sexual abuse.

Paul J. Pennock

Working to get justice for victims of organizations that care more about money than people has been the core of Mr. Pennock’s practice for more than 30 years. During his pursuit of justice he has recovered substantial amounts of financial compensation for clients. Mr. Pennock has worked to gain legal protection and advance the rights of people who have been underserved in our society. He is now focusing his legal skills on helping the survivors of childhood sexual abuse.

Photo of Paul J. Pennock

Samantha Breakstone

As a former criminal prosecutor focusing on sexual offenses, Ms. Breakstone knows that to successfully represent any survivor of childhood sexual assault she must listen to her client completely and compassionately. Each client has individual needs that must be addressed as the legal case moves forward. Ms. Breakstone has both the skill and empathy to effectively advocate for victims. She works to get them what they need, to have their story heard, and to edge one step closer to having their lives repaired.

Samantha Breakstone human trafficking lawyer.

Jonathan M. Sedgh

Mr. Sedgh has a passion for his work that emphasizes protecting people and righting wrongs. That is the way he approaches all his cases. He believes that everyone deserves the protection of the law. Organizations who ignore the survivors of abuse or place the organization’s welfare over that of the survivor will be held accountable by Mr. Sedgh. He works to make these groups pay for the way they treated survivors of child sex abuse.

Photo of Jonathan M. Sedgh

What Is Child Sex Abuse?

Child sex abuse is defined as any act between an adult and a minor which forces the child to engage in a sexual act or any sexual contact.

The effects on the child survivor are long-term, taking years for victims to recognize what happened to them and recover. This long-term recovery can run into statute of limitations restrictions which end up denying the survivor of their legal rights for criminal and civil prosecution.

Filing a Child Sex Abuse Lawsuit

Weitz & Luxenberg is currently filing lawsuits against organizations and institutions on behalf of survivors of child sex abuse. These organizations, who knew or should have known that their representatives were abusing children, did nothing to protect the children. Instead, they choose to protect their organizations.

All survivors, especially if you wish to take advantage of the revised statute of limitations under the Child Victims Act and the one-year “look-back window,” should contact W&L to get strong legal representation for your case.

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  1. RAINN. (n.d.). Children and Teens: Statistics. Retrieved from. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Are You a Victim of Child Sex Abuse?

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