It takes courage to come forward and then pursue the case in civil court. But it also helps protect others, provide a sense of justice and hopefully give victims a sense of closure
East Meadow, NY (PRWEB) May 23, 2011
As prominent accused sexual offenders make headlines—most recently Dominique Strauss-Kahn, former head of the International Monetary Fund and a leading French politician who, according to a New York Times article on May 19, was arrested in connection with the sexual assault of a maid at a Manhattan hotel—it helps spread awareness for other victims that there are many resources through which to seek help and exercise their legal rights. This includes the right to pursue a civil case against their assailant for monetary compensation, according to New York personal injury lawyer Neal Goldstein, a partner in the law firm of Goldstein and Bashner.
“Cases like the alleged Strauss-Kahn assault will hopefully encourage other victims to come forward,” said Goldstein. “It is also important for victims to know that while the state will file a criminal case against the assailant, they have the right to bring the case to civil court, where they can seek compensation for their injuries, pain and suffering. This is true even if the assailant is found not guilty in criminal court, where the burden of proof is beyond a reasonable doubt. In civil court, one must only prove it is more reasonable than not that the crime was committed.”
Goldstein notes that it is possible to win a civil case without a criminal conviction. The most notable example of this is the O.J. Simpson case, where Simpson was found not guilty in criminal court but then lost the civil case brought on by the Goldman and Brown families and was ordered to pay millions to each of these victim’s families.
“When victims exercise their rights, criminal defendants have more to lose than just their freedom. They can be forced to pay huge amounts in damages, and may lose their reputation, their lifestyle, and possibly even their family and career. Strauss-Kahn resigned from his role as managing director of the IMF this past Thursday.” said Goldstein. “It’s surprising but not uncommon for prominent people in the neighborhood to be convicted. We have represented cases against doctors, lawyers and other well-respected community leaders.”
“It takes courage to come forward and then pursue the case in civil court. But it also helps protect others, provide a sense of justice and hopefully give victims a sense of closure,” added Goldstein.
About Goldstein and Bashner
Goldstein and Bashner is a personal injury law firm with offices in New York City and on Long Island. Partners Neal Goldstein and Robert Bashner have been practicing law for more than 20 years, specializing in sexual assault cases, car accidents, construction accidents and slip and falls.