Los Angeles, CA asked in Sexual Harassment for California

Q: I was sexually assaulted two years ago but I don't have any proof it happened. Can I be sued for defamation?

-I (female) was 23 and he was 25.

- I don't proof it happened and I worry that he may fight back with a slander claim.

-This was an isolated incident. It happened in Los Angeles.

*This was our second date being with this man and I was very drunk. We were driving in his car and I remember our conversation going like,

Him: We're going to play a game, okay?

Me: Okay

Him: It's called redlight, greenlight.

Me: Okay

I felt his hand go up my dress and I was blacked out drunk. However, I did say stop and he didn't push any further. Me saying stop does not justify his actions and I feel that if I don't say anything, I will regret it.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen
Answered
  • Westminster, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: I am sorry this happened to you. Such an invasion of your personal space and body is not acceptable. However there are many reasons why raising it now, a couple of years later, might be problematic. As to your question, your exposure to a claim of slander would depend in large part on the context of your reporting of this incident. Some communications are considered legally privileged. Other communications would have no privilege protection. The real problem is that even when the communication is made in a legally privileged context, you can still get sued, and you would have to pay a good amount of money to defend against the legally winnable claim.

If you wish to move forward with any attempt to make public this two year old incident, it would be wise to get some specific advice from an attorney who can guide you through the best way to do this. Many attorneys offer free consultations.

Good luck to you.

William John Light
William John Light
Answered
  • Riverside, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: That doesn't sound like sexual assault. He made an attempt to get intimate with you. It doesn't sound like he touched an intimate part of your body. You declined. He stopped. If you publicly accuse him of sexual assault on those facts, he could win a defamation suit.

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