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SEX BATTERY CLAIMS

Victims of sexual assault or sexual abuse have the option of filing a lawsuit against the perpetrator in civil court. Even though any kind of sexual assault incident can give rise to a criminal prosecution -- which can result in jail time, fines, probation, and other sanctions against the defendant if a conviction is obtained -- a civil lawsuit is usually the only way that a sexual battery victim can get monetary compensation for harm suffered. Sexual battery is prohibited in California Civil Code Section 1708.5, which provides that A person commits a sexual battery who does any of the following:
(1) Acts with the intent to cause a harmful or offensive contact with an intimate part of another, and a sexually offensive contact with that person directly or indirectly results.
(2) Acts with the intent to cause a harmful or offensive contact with another by use of his or her intimate part, and a sexually offensive contact with that person directly or indirectly results.
(3) Acts to cause an imminent apprehension of the conduct described in paragraph (1) or (2), and a sexually offensive contact with that person directly or indirectly results.
(b) A person who commits a sexual battery upon another is liable to that person for damages, including, but not limited to, general damages, special damages, and punitive damages.
“As a general rule, one who consents to a touching cannot recover in an action for battery… However, it is well-recognized a person may place conditions on the consent. If the actor exceeds the terms or conditions of the consent, the consent does not protect the actor from liability for the excessive act.” (Ashcraft v. King (1991) 228 Cal.App.3d 604, 609—610 [278 Cal.Rptr. 900].)