What should I do if I suspect I was sexually assaulted while I was unconscious?
Sexual assault is a major problem for college students on campuses across America. There is an ongoing federal investigation into how sexual assault is handled on over 200 colleges and universities, including UC Santa Cruz.
Any type of non-consensual sexual conduct constitutes sexual assault. That includes rape or attempted rape, voyeurism, exhibitionism, sexual harassment, and more. Victims can be adults or children; they can be male or female. Perpetrators can be strangers, acquaintances, friends, intimate partners–or even college professors.
Sexual assault victims can be left with serious long-term physical and emotional trauma. Their predators can be criminally prosecuted as well as held responsible in a civil personal injury claim. In addition, and depending on the facts of each particular case, third-party entities– like colleges and universities-may be sued for failing to provide adequate security if that negligence caused or contributed to the sexual assault and resulting damages.
A celebratory wine-tasting event the night before graduation involving two female college students and their male professor had an immediate consequence for one of the women. She ended up missing her graduation the following day. Instead of a diploma, she was given a rape kit at the hospital after reporting the incident to the police. Two years later, the UC Santa Cruz grad still hides her diploma away in a box. She says it’s just too painful of a reminder of that night.
Reportedly, the young woman remembers returning from a trip to the ladies room during the wine-tasting event, downing her unfinished drink, and that was it. Not knowing how she got there, she woke up at the other student’s apartment with items of clothing either missing or inside out, suggesting a sexual assault may have happened while she was unconscious. She reported the incident to the police and got immediate medical treatment.
Although neither the professor nor the other student were criminally prosecuted, the victim recently settled the third-party civil suit against UC Santa Cruz for its “failure to address previous allegations of sexual harassment and sexual violence by the professor” for the sum of $1.15 million. The other student was reportedly also a university employee.
If you have been the victim of a sexual assault or sexual harassment, you should contact the police immediately and obtain any necessary medical treatment. Regardless of whether the perpetrator is criminally prosecuted, you should contact a sexual assault attorney to discuss the civil remedies that may be available to you which may include compensation for pain and suffering, emotional distress, psychological counseling, current and anticipated medical expenses and lost or diminished wages.
The compassionate attorneys at the J&Y Law Firm can help you regain not only your sense of empowerment, but also compensation for the emotional, physical, and financial fall- out of the sexual assault.
Please call us today at 888-806-6722 for a free consultation. We have offices in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, and Rancho Cucamonga and help sexual assault victims throughout the state of California.