The O’Hara Law Firm filed a lawsuit against Peter Nygard on behalf of a young woman that he slept with while she was a minor. The woman was under the age of eighteen and not old enough to consent to sexual intercourse with a man in his sixties under California law. Peter Nygard, a multimillionaire that Canadian Business Magazine estimated had a net worth of over $800 million, has a reputation for throwing wild parties and having sex with young women. A separate lawsuit was filed this year by several women in New York who claim that the eccentric millionaire raped them when they were teenagers. The lawsuit alleges that the defendant sodomized and raped the teens before paying them thousands of dollars to remain silent. Peter Nygard has been a party in multiple lawsuits over the last few decades including past lawsuits alleging sexual harassment.
In February of this year, Peter Nygard resigned as chairman of the Nygard Companies and announced that he would divest his ownership interest. This was likely in response to stores cancelling orders with his company. Dillard’s cancelled all orders with the Nygard International after sexual assault lawsuits were filed. Several Canadian stores also reported that they were considering separating ties with the Nygard brand.
Sexual assault is a crime that may result in a prison time, fines, probation and other punishments. The prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime. A civil lawsuit often is the only method for a victim to receive monetary compensation for the injuries caused by the defendant. Most states do not have a civil claim called “sexual assault.” The personal injury claim is often brought as one or more of the following causes of action: assault and battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and sexual harassment. The victim may receive compensation for pain and suffering and mental anguish.
Many states have recently extended the length of time a victim may wait to file a lawsuit against the perpetrator as a result of the Me Too movement and other social changes. Many victims have difficulty coming forward to report the sex crime for a variety of reasons. The statute of limitations is the legal term for the deadline to file a lawsuit. California extended the statute of limitations from two years to ten years from the date of the last act or attempted act of sexual assault. Victims of childhood sexual abuse in California have until age forty to file civil lawsuits.
Last year, Texas increased the deadline to file sex abuse related civil claims. An adult victim of sexual assault has ten years to file a lawsuit. A child victim of sexual assault has fifteen years from the eighteenth birthday to file a civil lawsuit.
In some circumstances, the perpetrator may not be the only one responsible for the sexual assault. Depending on the location of the sexual assault, the property owner or employer of the perpetrator may share responsibility for the assault. The victim may be able to bring a claim for inadequate security, negligent supervision or negligent hiring. The victim may also have a claim against her employer if the assault occurred while she was at work.
If you are a victim of sexual harassment, sexual assault, statutory rape or other related sex crime, contact the O’Hara Law Firm for a free consultation. Patrick O’Hara has experience representing people whose lives have been impacted by sexual predators. The O’Hara Law Firm represents clients on a contingency fee basis. Patrick O’Hara is licensed in California, Louisiana and Texas. Call us at 832-956-1138.