What should I do if my stepdad molested me but mom tells me that if I press charges, my sister will lose her college since he’s a disabled veteran? 15 Answers as of June 18, 2013

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Lombardi Law Firm
Lombardi Law Firm | Steve Lombardi
I represented a young lady with a similar situation and we settled for a significant amount of money, which I'm unable to disclose.
Answer Applies to: Iowa
Replied: 11/16/2012
Law Office of Edmund P. Allen Jr. | Edmund P. Allen Jr.
This is an extremely difficult position you have been put in by your stepdad and mother. You are an innocent victim of something very serious. You deserve healing and justice.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 11/14/2012
WEISSMAN LAW FIRM
WEISSMAN LAW FIRM | I.Donald Weissman
It is unlikely that one event is related to the other. Your sister should check with the assistance office at the college and with the Veteran's Administration concerning her benefits and her concerns. As for your situation, based upon what little you have mentioned, it appears you have two choices. You may seek arrest (and criminal prosecution) or civil (money) damages. The two are not mutually exclusive and may be sought independently or simultaneously. Bear in mind the arrest and any prosecution is decided upon by the authorities (e.g., police and district attorney's office) based upon your complaint and comments. Arrest and prosecution are not automatic. Seek out appropriate professionals to determine your rights so you can proceed to make an informed decision.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/13/2012
James M. Osak, P.C.
James M. Osak, P.C. | James M. Osak
DO whatever feels right. Mom is sticking up for him? It's your call here as you were injured.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 11/14/2012
Mike Yeksavich | Mike Yeksavich
This is a tough question. Child molestation should be reported because there is a fear it will occur over and over until stopped. It may well be that your sister will have to do as I did; that is work all the time I was in school. Surely your mother cannot think the wrong behavior should be condoned. I am concerned for your personal safety unless this is stopped. I pray this works for the best.
Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
Replied: 11/14/2012
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo | Mark Leonardo
    You did not indicate when the molestation occurred or your age. As for your sister, you need to contact someone that handles college financial aid to ascertain what effect a criminal conviction would actually have, if any, since his veteran?s status would not change.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/14/2012
    Law Office of Christian F. Paul
    Law Office of Christian F. Paul | Christian F. Paul
    Speaking not as a lawyer but as a step dad myself, I am horrified that your stepfather would do such a thing and equally horrified that your mother would help protect him after learning what he did to her daughter for any reason at all. If he molested you, he has molested others and will molest others. Keeping quiet is only going to help him. It won't help you and who knows when he will want to victimize you again? Or your sister? Report him to the police immediately, and get yourself psychological counseling. Find out if he's molested your sister and get her help, too. I don't know how your sister's college money can be affected by this, but on the other side of the equation is lifelong harm to you and everyone else he molests. Which is more important? Courage. Speak up now.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/13/2012
    Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
    Do you know what they call a person who sells themself for money? If you were molested, YOU are the one who should determine what is in YOUR best interest. For example, if you did require, and will continue to require psychiatric or psychological care as a result of the molestation, then why should you have to pay for it, on into your adulthood? It should be his responsibility, since he caused it. You may need supportive witnesses to some of the details as to the time(s) and place(s) at which the incidents took place, in order to bolster the accuracy (and therefore the believability) of your testimony of the facts. For example, "I remember Christmas eve when I was 8 years old......." If you sister loses out on her getting college paid for, I guess she will just have to get a student loan or something. You don't have a source to go to in order to get your life in order. Consider-is he paying for it because he feels guilty for molesting her?
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/14/2012
    Law Office of Melvin Franke | Melvin Franke
    Yes, if there is no custody order.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 11/13/2012
    David F. Stoddard
    David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
    Call D.S.S. and or the Police. Report it to a school counselor. He should be prosecuted. If his being prosecuted somehow causes your sister to lose some sort of benefit (which I'm not sure is true) there are other ways to finance college, and it should not be at your expense in keeping silent.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 11/13/2012
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    You come first, file a police report.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 11/13/2012
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