My son was physically and emotionally abused by a child care provider 12 years ago. my son is now 16 the abuse happened when he was 4, (2001). At about 10 years old he began having vivid memories of the abuse, I began doing research and found out the child care provider Harbons Ahuja was arrested and convicted in 2004 for the same thing she did to my son, my son was hog tied and gagged in a closet for hours, (We are not sure how many times she did this as she watched him for about one year). She was arrested and convicted for tying up a two year old little girl to her high chair and putting her in a dark closet for hours.
In 2007 I went to the Irvine PD to file charges, but it was past statute of limitations. I called the Orange County District Attorney they empathized , but apologized since there was nothing they could do. The DA did give me the phone number to Harbons Ahuja's Parole officer he also had empathy for us, all he promised he could do was hold Ms. Ahuja to the strictest enforcement of her parole.
My son has had emotional problems all his life and has been in a special school for ADHD for 9 years. He Has had county services with therapy, psychiatry, a mentor and a family program. He struggles deeply with depression and low self esteem, does not like to leave the house. I would like to send him to a Boarding school for a Therapeutic intervention and independent living skills but can not afford it. Is it too late to bring a law suit against Harbons Ahuja to pay for my sons psychological, psychiatric,special treatment therapies and his own mental anguish and suffering ?
3 Answers from Attorneys
First of all, most statutes of limitation are tolled while the victim is a minor. (Code Civ. Proc., sect. 352.) There are exceptions and different rules, however, and determining the correct rules will involve analysis of the underlying facts. You should get a consultation with a competent attorney as soon as possible.
Theoretically, the victim minor child has until his 18th birthday, plus six years more, to file legal action for child sexual abuse. However, the reality is that any case this old will be difficult to prove and win. Evidence in the form of witnesses and documents and experts would be required, since the testimony of a then four year old would have essentially no 'memory' credibility many years later. Had the child complained at the time, his testimony would have been of value then. Later recovered memory is very 'unreliable' to be charitable, and will be challenged strongly. Of course, the other conviction for the same thing against other minors does add some credibility here, if you could use it in evidence, which is not assured either.
The next issue is whether there is any reasonable likelihood of ever actually recovering and getting paid on any judgment you might be able to obtain. If the defendant has 'nothing', then that is what you will recover. You would have to invest substantial attorney fees and costs to pursue this lawsuit, with no assurance of success, or of recovery even if successful. You could check to see if the other victim ever got any payment of restitution if ordered by the court. You could have a financial check done on the proposed defendant.
With all that, if you are serious about hiring counsel to help in this, and if this is in SoCal courts, feel free to contact me. Iíll be happy to help fight and get the best outcome possible
as a PS:
There was no reason you could not have sued as soon as you learned of the problem. Testimony would then have had more credibility. You would be confronted with that delay as part of the defense raised.