According to recent reports, a woman has filed a claim of sexual harassment and assault against Murrieta Mayor Harry Ramos. She alleges that the mayor sexually harassed and assaulted her during a Chamber of Commerce mixer in January. The plaintiff, Kathleen Smit, stated that the mayor repeated verbal and physical advances which spilled over into the parking lot as well as into her vehicle. She was quoted saying, “Without asking, he grabbed me and he started to kiss me, putting his tongue in my mouth, and I was stunned and shocked.”
The victim’s attorney, Dan Gilleon, stated that she kept quiet about the attack until she was contacted by a private investigator who was looking into the mayor. He states, “She actually was located by an investigator who’s already investigating Mayor Ramos, and that’s when she was asked to give a statement…Other people had seen what Mayor Ramos had done to her and they had told this investigator.”
In response, the City of Murrieta issued a statement saying, “The city received the claim yesterday and the claim has been referred to the city’s joint power agency and they are reviewing it. The city has 45 days to take action on the claim.”
Victims of sexual assault or abuse have grounds to file a lawsuit against the perpetrator in civil court. While sexual assault incidents usually give rise to a criminal prosecution, a civil lawsuit is typically the only way a sexual assault victim can receive monetary compensation for the harm he or she suffered. The amount and type of compensation available in a sexual abuse civil lawsuit depends on the specific facts of the case. Those who seek such cases typically state Assault and Battery or Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress. Damages in sexual assault cases revolve around the physical and emotional harm the victim suffered and may continue to suffer. When cases like this end up in court, juries often award high damages.
If you are the victim of sexual assault, it is important to know that you do not have to face the aftermath alone. Whether criminal charges are brought against your attacker or not, the team at the Gilleon Law Firm, APC in San Diego can help you seek compensation in civil court. We will aggressively represent your interests and use our extensive knowledge and resources to seek the maximum amount of compensation from the guilty party.