A criminal case for sexual assault is pursued by the District Attorney of the County in New York where the incident occurred. The burden of proof in criminal court is high. The sexual assault must be proven “beyond a reasonable doubt”. The standard of proof in a civil case is different, it is a lower burden of proof. In a case for money damages, the plaintiff needs to show that it is “more likely than not”,” that the defendant is responsible for the plaintiff’s damages.  In law, this standard is referred to as by a preponderance of the evidence.

If the perpetrator/defendant is convicted in criminal court, this is helpful when pursuing a civil case. A legal rule known as “collateral estoppel” would allow the plaintiff in the civil case to present evidence that a jury in a criminal case already found the defendant guilty of committing the act(s). This may apply whether the person is found guilty, or if they plead guilty.