Yes. A case for sexual assault can be pursued in both criminal and civil court. In civil courts, there is no cause of action for “sexual assault”. Instead, the victim would file a lawsuit for one or more of a number or torts (wrongful acts that caused harm to a victim).

  • Assault
  • Battery
  • Intentional infliction of emotional distress
  • Negligent infliction of emotional distress
  • False imprisonment

In the civil justice system, the aim is not to determine innocence or guilt of an offender, but instead to determine whether someone is liable for the injuries sustained by an individual. To be liable means, in the eyes of the law, the offender is responsible for the conduct and therefore responsible for the damages and injuries. A civil court finding that an offender is liable will mean that the offender needs to pay the victim or his or her family a certain amount of money.