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
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.