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Is the State of California Prison System Responsible for Freeing a Child Molester Early?

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Within the past few years, multiple changes in the laws have allowed for the early release of criminals in the California prison system. Among these are sex offenders, including those that have committed violent crimes against children. Sadly, many of these predators go onto commit heinous acts against other innocent victims.

The changes in the laws happened gradually, starting from 2020 with the passing of Assembly Bill 3234, which lowered the age for early release from 60 years to 50. As a result, an onslaught of violent criminals became eligible for parole, while simultaneously, punishments for new offenders had decreased significantly. These changes came about in 2014, when certain felonies were downgraded to misdemeanors under Prop 47. In addition, changes to the law in 2016 led to the reclassification of various crimes as non-violent, which qualified many offenders for early release.

The results were devastating, especially for minors, as indicated by statistics from California’s Megan’s Law database. According to the database, over 7,000 prisoners with convictions for “lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14 years of age” were released after serving less than one year of their sentence. Even more disturbing, the average time served by child sex offenders within the entire prison system was a mere 35 months, which is less than 3 years.

The truth is, there have been a significant number of people who were victimized due to these laws that prioritized reducing prison populations over public safety. If you or someone you know was harmed by a sexual predator that was released early on probation, you most likely have questions and concerns about your legal rights, including:

  • Is the District Attorney liable for freeing a child molester that molested someone after they were released from prison early?
  • Is the State of California prison system responsible if a convict they released early on probation goes on to commit crimes against others?
  • Can I sue the District Attorney’s Office or the California prison system for what I’ve gone through?

Yes, you may have a case against either of these entities if you or your child was abused by an early release offender. However, cases involving public offices are incredibly complex, so you must seek guidance from an experienced sexual abuse attorney. For a free consultation on your rights and legal options, contact us as soon as possible.

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The Right to Sue for Sexual Abuse by an Offender that was Released Early

As previously stated, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit if you were harmed by a prisoner that was released early. In some cases, violent offenders that are likely to reoffend are released due to an error by the prison system. Others are rightfully released, but there is a failure by the District Attorney’s Office to follow the protocols set forth by the parole or probation system. In either of these cases, you would have the right to sue for monetary damages.

Currently, there is a pending lawsuit against the DA’s office involving an early release prisoner. In November 2022, a $25 million lawsuit was filed against the LA County District Attorney’s Office by the widow of police sergeant Michael Paredes. The officer, who responded to a stabbing at motel, was killed by William Flores – a prisoner who was on probation after an early release. According to Paredes’ widow, Flores should have been kept behind bars based on his criminal history. Furthermore, the lawsuit calls into question the lack of monitoring and supervision that led to Flores having a gun in his possession.

While this was not a case of child sexual abuse, it goes to show how the D.A.’s negligence can lead to irreparable harm. We believe there will be many such cases in the future, but the legal process can be overwhelming for the average claimant when a government or public entity is involved. Our lawyers are here to answer all your questions, so please reach out to us at your earliest convenience.

Compensation for Sexual Assault Victims

What you are eligible to receive from a lawsuit depends on the type of injuries you’ve sustained, whether you were a child or adult at the time of the incident, and many other factors that are unique to your case. Available damages in a sexual assault lawsuit include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Property damage
  • Punitive damages
  • Legal fees

Along with the compensation you can receive, you probably have questions about the average value of a lawsuit if you or your child was assaulted by a sex offender that was out on parole or probation. The total amount of your settlement is based on your personal circumstances, so it’s impossible to say what your case is worth without speaking with you in person. However, sexual assault claims are typically high value cases, especially for incidents involving minors. Many of the clients we’ve represented received awards ranging from $1 million to $7.5 million. Skilled and aggressive representation is needed to secure payments within this range, which is exactly what we can offer you here at DTLA Law Group.

How long will it take to Settle my Case?

Sexual assault cases are some of the most complex legal actions within the field of personal injury law. Much of the timeline for a sexual abuse claim depends on the other side’s willingness to admit fault and work towards a fair settlement award. However, public agencies can be very resistant when it comes to accusations that paint them in a bad light. A case of sexual abuse, especially when it’s committed by a criminal that was released early, is not something these entities want to be associated with. That’s why we are upfront with clients about the fact that it can take two or more years to settle their case.

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Statute of Limitations for a Sexual Abuse Lawsuit

California is one of the most generous states when it comes to the statute of limitations to file a child sexual assault lawsuit. The deadline to file your claim is 22 years after you turn 18 (40 years old) or 5 years of discovering the abuse / injury from the abuse as an adult. The laws go one step further by allowing you to choose whichever of these dates comes later. That means even if you are an adult survivor of child sexual assault, you may still have a chance to seek justice from the responsible parties.

The statute of limitations can be confusing when it comes to sex abuse cases involving minors, so don’t hesitate to give us a call if you need to verify the deadline to file your lawsuit.

Free Second Opinion

Our lawyers are available to provide second opinions if you have a pending claim or you’ve been told by another attorney that you don’t have a case. Many people confront obstacles early on in the legal process. Without an experienced attorney by their side, they are likely to give up on their right to compensation or find themselves in the middle of a case that isn’t going anywhere. No matter what kind of problems you are experiencing, you may benefit from a private consultation with one of our attorneys. A second opinion on your rights and legal options is completely free here at DTLA, so there’s nothing to lose by giving us a call and scheduling a time to meet with us.

Let us Fight for You

The lawyers of DTLA Law Group have decades of litigation experience in child sexual abuse cases involving private businesses, government agencies, public school systems, and many other entities throughout California. We know what it takes to build a strong and solid case and fight for the settlement you deserve.

As someone who has suffered the catastrophic impact of sexual assault, legal fees are the last thing you should have to worry about. Whether you are a new claimant or someone coming to us from another law firm, you will never pay upfront to hire us, thanks to the Zero fee guarantee. All our attorneys work on contingency, so the only way we get paid is by recovering your settlement. If we fail to win your case, you pay us absolutely nothing.

We are here for you 24/7 and are ready for the challenge of fighting for your rights. Contact our office for a free, private case review with one of our attorneys.

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By submitting this form, you agree to receive telephone calls and text messages at anytime, which include hours outside of business hours (8:00 am PST – 9:00 pm PST). This is so that we may reach you as soon as possible in order to consult on your potential case.