Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to Create Sexual Assault Council

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Los Angeles County Aims to Prevent Sexual Assault Crimes by Establishing New Council

Los Angeles County Aims to Prevent Sexual Assault Crimes by Establishing New Council

Oct 20, 2022

The Los Angeles Board of Supervisors has agreed to begin the process of developing a Sexual Assault Council, according to a report from City News Service. The primary objectives of the forthcoming Sexual Assault Council include coordinating both response and prevention services for survivors of sexual violence.

Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to Create Sexual Assault Council

According to the motion introduced at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisor’s meeting, an informal Sexual Assault Council operated within Los Angeles County from 2001-2006. However, because the group wasn’t a formal entity within county government, the members of the council stopped meeting in 2006.

Introduced by Supervisors Sheila Kuehl and Hilda Solis, Tuesday’s motion reportedly:

“… asks the county’s CEO to work with the Department of Public Health and Commission for Women to come up with recommendations within 30 days on the composition of the council and how it should be funded,” according to City News Service.

The creation of the council was part of a recommendation from the Los Angeles County Commission for Women’s Ad Hoc Committee on Sexual Assault. Per said recommendation, the newly-established council should seek to not “duplicate the work already being done by other committees but to coordinate access to services, possibly coordinate data collection and analysis, identify best practices, find gaps in services, suggest improvements, provide public education, coordinate advocacy for more resources and help with awareness and prevention.

The Ad Hoc Committee further recommended that the new council include:

  • Forensic nurses and people working in law enforcement
  • Crime labs
  • Victim services
  • Rape crisis centers
  • Prosecutors’ offices
  • Child protective services

“The county must invest in the coordination necessary to ensure that residents across the county can have equal access to the resources they require to heal. Further, the county must support the identification and implementation of best practices to prevent and reduce the impact of sexual violence in our communities through the creation of a Sexual Assault Council,” the committee said in its recommendation.

What is Considered Sexual Assault Under California Law?

In California, various forms of sexual violence meet the definition of a sex crime under the law. Sexual acts that are coerced, for example, are always considered illegal under California’s consent laws.

Some of the more common types of sexual violence crimes include:

  • Rape
  • Sexual assault
  • Sexual harassment
  • Sexual abuse
  • Sexual battery
  • Inappropriate touching

Sexual consent is understood as the right to determine what happens to one’s body. However, it’s important to note that a sex crime can be committed due to lack of consent under a number of scenarios, such as:

  • Ignoring “no,” “stop,” or other verbal attempts by a victim
  • Inability to give consent due to being intoxicated, asleep, unconscious, etc.
  • Coercion by force, fear, or intimidation
  • Threats of retaliation

Under California law, sexual assault or sexual battery may be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Examples of a California misdemeanor sex crime may include:

  • Fondling someone’s breasts/buttocks/genitals without consent
  • Groping someone’s breasts/buttocks/genitals without consent

A misdemeanor sex crime offense that does not involve unlawful restraint is punishable by up to six months in county jail and a fine of up to $2,000. The fine can increase to $3,000 if the defendant was the victim’s employer.

Examples of a California felony sex crime may include:

  • Holding someone down against their will and kissing them and/or unclothing them
  • Convincing someone who is mentally ill to masturbate in front of you
  • A male doctor falsely telling a female patient that he must feel her breasts for an examination for his own sexual arousal or gratification

California felony sex crimes may lead to a range of punishments, including imprisonment for two, three, or four years as well as a fine of up to $10,000.

California AB 2777 and Justice for Adult Sexual Assault Survivors

Governor Newsom recently signed into law California Assembly Bill 2777 (AB 2777), allowing adult survivors of sexual assault a three-year window to file civil lawsuits for damages against perpetrators (whether individuals or entities).

Under AB 2777, the state’s Civil Code of Procedure is amended. Accordingly, any civil actions (lawsuits) brought for the recovery of damages (and in instances where the assault occurred on or after the survivor’s 18th birthday) are now bound to the later of the following deadlines:

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  • Within 10 years from the date of the last act, attempted act, or assault with the intent to commit an act, of sexual assault against the plaintiff
  • Within three years from the date the plaintiff discovers or reasonably should have discovered that an injury or illness resulted from an act, attempted act, or assault with the intent to commit an act, of sexual assault against the plaintiff

AB 2777 affords survivors the opportunity to file claims between January 1, 2023 and December 31, 2026 which seek to recover damages suffered as a result of a sexual assault or other inappropriate conduct, communication, or activity of a sexual nature.

In anticipation of the increase in claims being filed, Dordulian Law Group’s (DLG) California sexual assault attorneys are available to begin the process of securing justice on your behalf immediately. If you are interested in filing a civil lawsuit against a perpetrator of sexual violence, contact us today at 818-322-4056 for a free and confidential consultation and potentially begin the litigation process available under California AB 2777.

Sexual assault civil lawsuits can help ensure survivors recover financial compensation for various types of damages, such as:

  • Emotional or psychological harm
  • Punitive damages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Counseling or therapy expenses
  • Medical care or hospital costs
  • Lost wages
  • Diminished earning capacity
  • Reduced quality of life

Sexual Assault Prevention Efforts in Los Angeles

Since the inception of the #MeToo Movement, sexual violence has become increasingly understood as a pervasive scourge that unfortunately impacts countless survivors annually in the United States. Accordingly, legislators at the federal, state, and even local levels have made efforts to both combat acts of sexual violence and increase the public’s awareness of such issues.

Recently, the city of West Hollywood announced a new program aimed at improving nightlife safety by reducing date rape drugs and potential sexual assaults.

In August, the City Council approved a plan to purchase and hand out drink-spiking test strips to local bars, restaurants, and patrons, according to a local ABC 7 Los Angeles report. The initiative was an effort to “drive down the number of sexual assaults happening in the area,” CBS News Los Angeles reported.

Such testing strips are designed to detect common date rape drugs, including:

  • Rohypnol
  • GHB
  • Ketamine

By placing a drop of one’s drink on the testing strip, a user is able to confirm whether or not it’s safe. Moreover, users have the option of scanning a QR code with safety information.

The city of West Hollywood launched the initiative earlier this year, with leaders and volunteers canvassing the city and handing out approximately 2,500 kits.

Contact DLG’s Sexual Assault Attorneys for a Free Case Evaluation

Dordulian Law Group (DLG) is one of California’s leading sexual assault firms with a proven track record of helping survivors obtain the justice they deserve. Founded by former sex crimes prosecutor and Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County, Sam Dordulian, DLG’s Sex Crimes Division was created with a unique support-centered network of resources available to survivors 24/7.

DLG’s SAJE Team (Sexual Assault Justice Experts) provides clients with four tiers of support:

  • Tier I: Litigation lead Sam Dordulian working together with his team of dedicated and proven sexual assault attorneys
  • Tier II: A licensed in-house clinical therapist dedicated to assisting survivors
  • Tier III: A licensed, nationally accredited victim advocate
  • Tier IV: An in-house Chief Investigator – former LAPD sex crimes detective Moses Castillo

Sam Dordulian and his team have been fighting on behalf of sexual assault survivors for more than 25 years. Moreover, together with Dordulian, DLG’s California sexual assault attorneys have helped countless survivors secure maximum financial damages awards for claims against both individual perpetrators and major entities.

Some recent DLG sexual assault case victories include:

If you experienced a sexual assault incident, don’t wait to file a claim. Contact our expert attorneys online or by phone for a free consultation today.

DLG Speaks With County Supervisors Regarding New Los Angeles Sexual Assault Council

By choosing DLG to handle your sexual assault claim, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that our dedication to survivors is unparalleled. We’ve successfully secured more than $100,000,000 for clients with a 98% win record. And you won’t have to worry about upfront costs or out-of-pocket expenses when you choose DLG’s sexual assault lawyers. We never collect any fee for our expert legal services until after we successfully secure maximum financial compensation for you.

Contact us today to discuss your California sexual assault claim. We’re available 24/7 as your dedicated legal advocates.


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