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#248333 - 09/06/08 08:35 AM Survivor wins suit against abuser
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5780
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
I'm very familiar with this case and smiled when I saw the news today.

Court says Morris County man can sue 14 years after being abused
by Kate Coscarelli/The Star-Ledger
Friday September 05, 2008, 1:28 PM

A state appeals court today said a man sexually abused by his
step-father in 1999 had a right to pursue the case in court even though
he filed the lawsuit 14 years after crime.

A unanimous three-judge panel said the Morris County man's civil suit
should be allowed since he filed it within two years of realizing the
abuse was the cause of his depression, gender confusion and
cross-dressing.

The decision reinstates the case, which a trial judge threw out saying
too much time had lapse since the abuse.

The judges said there must be a clear link between the "conscious
awareness" that the injury is linked to the abuse.

"A (person) may have a conscious memory of the sexual abuse, but may not
have 'reasonably discovered' that the serious psychological and mental
illness injury from which the (person) suffers is caused by the sexual
abuse," the judges wrote.

The case involves a man, identified only as R.L., who was abused by his
step-father, Kenneth Voytac, starting when he was 9-years-old, lasting
for several years. Voytac and the man's mother later divorced.

During high school, he started cross-dressing and was treated for
depression. He never mentioned the sexual abuse.

It wasn't until 2002, when he was talking with a co-worker about his
cross-dressing that he made a direct link between his feelings and the
abuse. The conversation linking the issues was like having a light bulb
go off for him, according to court papers.

"He had never made a connection between the cross-dressing and the
sexual abuse before," wrote the judges.

Calls to the lawyers in the case were not immediately returned.


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#248340 - 09/06/08 10:45 AM Re: Survivor wins suit against abuser [Re: Ken Singer, LCSW]
LN3(SS) Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/20/08
Posts: 486
Loc: MD
Not to slam Joisey, but this seems to be against the grain of recent decisions in most states. Most states have a hard and fast statute of limitations regarding the legal right to sue as far as I am aware of. I hope this decision is not overturned on appeal, as it could represent an important step forward in abuse litigation. Please keep posting the updates.

Brian

_________________________
"When we go into battle, I will be the first to set foot on the field, and I will be the last to step off, and I will leave no one behind. Dead, or alive, we will all come home together." LTG Hal Moore, Jr., USA (Ret.)

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#248343 - 09/06/08 11:15 AM Re: Survivor wins suit against abuser [Re: LN3(SS)]
LandOfShadow Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 684
Loc: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
I'm confused about the dates.

14 years later.... From 2008, that would be 1994, but "abused by his step-father in 1999" ... when he was "9-years-old, lasting
for several years."

But then, "It wasn't until 2002, when he was talking with a co-worker about his cross-dressing that he made a direct link between his feelings and the abuse." And "even though
he filed the lawsuit 14 years after crime. A unanimous three-judge panel said the Morris County man's civil suit
should be allowed since he filed it within two years of realizing the abuse" So we would conclude he filed the suit in 2004, for abuse in 1990.

It doesn't add up at all.

But I like it!

_________________________
Et par le pouvoir d’un mot Je recommence ma vie, Je suis né pour te connaître, Pour te nommer
Liberté

And by the power of a single word I can begin my life again, I was born to know you, to name you
Freedom

Paul Eluard

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#248409 - 09/06/08 11:12 PM Re: Survivor wins suit against abuser [Re: LandOfShadow]
king tut Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/13/08
Posts: 2466
Loc: UK
14 years, i think it's good that the decision was made, but i don't understand, what makes him different? everybody has problems because they were abused, or does this suppose to be some kind of eureka moment where people first realise that

abused + problems implies abused -> problems

if they are doing it for this case why not for every case

and so this guy, then, gets to do this because it is within two years of realising it caused his depression, which implies it is like saying within two years of being abused, or something like that right. But that kind of idea makes no sense in the way that usually jurys are more sceptical of remembered or realised things.

So is this something everybody could do then, people who have only recently started dealing with their problems because they only recently realised how it has affected them, they could go to court?

_________________________
"...until lambs become lions"

I love you, little lewis, and i will never leave you. We are the same. You brighten my day, and i will make sure that i brighten yours. Hugs and kisses.


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#248473 - 09/07/08 10:27 AM Re: Survivor wins suit against abuser [Re: king tut]
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5780
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
Depends on the jurisdiction of where the suit would be filed. Usually it is where the abuse took place. Rules for amount of time to file differ from place to place. The significance here in NJ is that in general, civil suits must be filed within (I think) a two year window from the offense/action.

NJ recently changed the timeframe for suits against charitable organizations such as churches thanks to MS member Mark Crawford.

The ruling here is recognizing that even though the time has expired to file a civil suit against a perpetrator, the clock is actually beginning from the time of harm recognition rather than the date of the last act.

Anyway, my non-lawyer take on it.


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#248512 - 09/07/08 05:08 PM Re: Survivor wins suit against abuser [Re: Ken Singer, LCSW]
king tut Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/13/08
Posts: 2466
Loc: UK
yeah that's how i read it too

_________________________
"...until lambs become lions"

I love you, little lewis, and i will never leave you. We are the same. You brighten my day, and i will make sure that i brighten yours. Hugs and kisses.


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#248722 - 09/08/08 09:44 PM Re: Survivor wins suit against abuser [Re: king tut]
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
This ruling has always been the standard in NJ for lots of things; it's just the first time I've seen it applied to an abuse case and I'm glad. In other matters, medical mal-practice for instance, there is a two year statute of limitations BUT that time frame is extended if, for instance, the mal-practice was done to a child. The parents can sue on the kids behalf, but the child him/herself has until they are 20 to bring an action. There are other situations, as the one above, where the statute does not begin to run until the victim becomes aware that a wrong was even done to them.

It's still a tough road and all this ruling says is that the man CAN sue; successfully prosecuting the case after such a long time is another matter. It'll be a battle of the experts for sure. I wish him well.

ROCK ON........Trish

_________________________
If you fall down 10 times, Stand up 11.

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#248737 - 09/08/08 10:37 PM Re: Survivor wins suit against abuser [Re: Trish4850]
Tinman Offline


Registered: 05/30/08
Posts: 359
Loc: Lake Forest, CA
I am older. The perps are dead. At least all but one.

You cannot imagine what it is to realize what it is like to realize we will never have justice. There is nothing to do. They died and got away with it.

Even with the one who remains alive, I am powerless. And that is a slap in the face. He lives and went on. Oblivious to what he did. And I can do nothing.

To those who can, and who the law allows, nail them! Nail them for all of those who have no voice in the justice system.

_________________________
Tinman
"I finally have my heart!"

To the perps: Don't worry about me coming after you. But you damn well better watch out for God! "Vengeance is mine", saith the Lord

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#259251 - 10/31/08 06:05 PM Re: Survivor wins suit against abuser [Re: Tinman]
khayia1 Offline


Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 1
If anyone has any info on this case please let me know!!


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#259255 - 10/31/08 06:26 PM Re: Survivor wins suit against abuser [Re: khayia1]
Trucker51 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/20/08
Posts: 2826
Loc: Denver, CO
Morris County, NJ is in the area mainly west of I-287, and south of I-80, about 25 miles west of NYC. Morristown is a city in the area alongside I-287. The Star Ledger is a newspaper based out of Newark, NJ. I found this web address in a Google search:

http://www.nj.com/starledger/

Feel free to PM Ken Singer or Land of Shadow since they seem to be familiar with the case. Ken lives in New Jersey.

The article's author was a Kate Coscarelli and according to Ken it was written on Friday, Semptember 5th, 2008

Welcome to our support site. I think that you will find that we are a caring and supportive bunch of guys.

We are all here together to free ourselves from the effects of what was done to us as children.

Most of the guys communicate up on the survivor forum.

Glad that you found us,

Mark

_________________________
"We stay here, we die here. We've got to keep moving". Trucker Mark



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