Suing For Damages When Contracting A Disease During Sexual Assault


Sex Crimes / Monday, October 28th, 2019

Sexual assault is a terrifying, deeply psychological experience for the victim — and our criminal justice system only serves to amplify that experience for those who are brave enough to step forward to tell their stories. In some circumstances, a victim will contract a sexually transmitted disease during the commission of the crime. In those cases, the victim may be eligible to sue for restitution in criminal court or other damages in civil court.

These cases becomes especially trying when a minor is involved.

In Waukegan, Illinois, Marcus E. Davis was charged with aggravated criminal sexual assault of a minor (a 15-year-old boy) — and also with criminal transmission of HIV. The two apparently met through a popular dating app, after which they began to meet in person, and ultimately the meetings turned into sexual encounters.

Davis failed to notify his victim that he had HIV — even though he knew beforehand — until after they decided to have sex without using a condom. Aggravated criminal sexual assault in Illinois occurs when there is bodily harm or the threat of bodily harm to the victim. In this case, prosecutors probably decided to charge Davis with this crime because he transmitted HIV to the boy.

Criminal transmission of HIV can occur with or without transmission actually taking place, but the charge is normally placed when a person engages in sexual intercourse with a partner while knowing they have HIV and without alerting the partner of HIV status.

Based on the severity of these two crimes, Davis could be put away for a long time.

The victim’s family has the ability to ask for restitution, but also to sue for civil damages as well. In order to receive restitution, the victim’s family must gather information related to medical bills related to the commission of the crime. It can also help to write a detailed victim impact statement to clarify expenses incurred. In some states the offender’s ability to pay might affect the amount of restitution awarded to a victim.

Even in cases where the full amount of restitution is ordered by the judge, a victim might never receive it. Civil damages can only be added to restitution when additional pain and suffering on the victim’s part require it. In the case of a minor who contracted HIV during the commission of a sexual assault, one could argue not only that there are ongoing medical expenses, but also that significant pain and suffering were incurred by the victim.

Were you sexually assaulted? Did you contract a disease or illness as the result of a crime? You might be entitled to compensation, either in the form of restitution, civil damages, or both. You should contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. If you were charged with a crime, you need a criminal defense attorney.