Elder Sexual Abuse


Lawyers Handling Claims of Sexual Abuse of the Elderly
in San Francisco

Our San Francisco sexual abuse attorneys have than 150 years of combined experience

Sexual abuse causes devastating physical and emotional harm. Many victims never fully trust other people again. Many victims live in fear and think about the abuse constantly. Most victims of sexual abuse require short-term counseling and long-term psychological therapy. When the abuse victim is a senior, the consequences are often more crushing because of the limited time seniors have to heal and enjoy their lives. Sadly, many seniors are seen as targets due to their inability to resist and their fear of reporting the abuse – or even remembering the abuse due to cognitive impairments. At Garcia & Artigliere, our San Francisco sexual abuse lawyers have helped many elderly sexual abuse victims hold abusers and the caretakers who failed to protect your loved one accountable. In 2022, we obtained more than $50 million in recoveries for the elderly and disabled who suffered physical and emotional harm.

Elder abuse attorney Stephen M. Garcia obtained $5.4 million dollars for an 87-year-old woman who was repeatedly sexually molested by the co-manager of a residential care facility. The co-manager had a long history of alleged sexual misconduct at the facility, but none of the incidents of elder abuse were reported to either Adult Protective Services or to the Department of Social Services. Upon discovery, the nursing home fired the co-manager and waited 8 days to report his actions to the police, giving him time to flee.


What is sexual abuse of the elderly?

Tragically, sexual abuse of the elderly happens much more than anyone might think. A major reason is that abusers know that many seniors are unable to physically resist and just as many don’t have the cognitive ability to understand what’s happening to them. Abusers also take advantage of the fact that many seniors are afraid to report the abuse. Seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s can’t even remember that the abuse has occurred.

In many instances of sexual abuse of the elderly, the victim knows the abuser. Often, the victim places their trust in the abuser. Sexual abusers in San Francisco include members of a nursing home staff or any other assisted living staff; workers for in-home health agencies and other caretaker services, visitors to the facility or home of the senior, and contractors. Sexual abuse by residents of other residents of long-term facilities is also common.

Sexual abuse of the elderly causes tragic consequences such as anger, shock, fear, grief, depression, withdrawal, difficulty sleeping, and even suicidal thoughts.

The American Psychological Association defines sexual abuse as including “inappropriate touching, photographing the older adult in suggestive poses, forcing the person to look at pornography, and any unwanted sexualized behavior.”

What signs suggest an elderly person has been sexually abused in San Francisco?

Everyone who cares for the seniors in their lives who are in the care of paid caretakers should look for the following signs of sexual abuse:

  • Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
  • Injuries to the pelvic area
  • Bruises to the genital areas
  • Problems walking or standing
  • Torn, soiled, or damaged undergarments and clothing
  • Behavioral signs, including anxiety, depression, withdrawal from family and friends, isolation from other residents, and post-traumatic-stress-disorder (PTSD)
  • Eating disorders
  • Too much or too little sleep
  • Suicide attempts

Victims of sexual abuse should receive prompt emergency physical and psychological help. Experienced healthcare professionals such as forensic nurses help sexual victims receive medical care while also helping to preserve the evidence of sexual assault.

At Garcia & Artigliere, our San Francisco elder abuse attorneys work with counselors and psychologists who specialize in rape and sexual assault counseling. We have the experience and resources to show who is responsible for sexual abuse, why they’re responsible, and to demand full compensation for this type of horrific abuse of the elderly.


Why does sexual abuse of seniors happen in San Francisco?

Sexual abuse of seniors is often about control and power as much it is about sex. Seniors with physical or cognitive impairments are seen as easy targets.

Most acts of sexual abuse are preventable if the nursing home or other caretaker takes appropriate preventative measures. Assisted living facilities, at-home care agencies, and other professional caretakers should take the following steps to help prevent sexual abuse of the elderly:

  • Conduct background checks of any prospective employees
  • Educate staff members about the signs of sexual abuse
  • Rotate the staff members who provide care for each senior
  • Create a reporting system so that the seniors themselves, family members, and other caretakers can file reports of sexual abuse with the caretaker managers
  • Provide immediate medical care for anyone who shows signs of sexual abuse
  • Monitor any residents with cognitive impairments

Who is accountable for San Francisco elderly sexual abuse?

At Garcia & Artigliere, we understand how completely devastating any form of sexual abuse is. Victims are never the same. Even with long-term counseling, most sexual abuse victim’s lives are shattered by sexual abuse.

Our San Francisco sexual abuse lawyers file claims against the person who committed the sexual abuse. If that person is charged criminally, we coordinate your claim with local law enforcement.

We also file claims against the caretaker – such as nursing homes, assisted living facilities, long-term care facilities, adult daycare centers, and private home elder care service agencies. We base our claim on the following principles:

  • Caretakers are generally vicariously liable for the misconduct of their employees
  • The caretakers failed to have written policies and procedures in place to prevent sexual abuse of the elderly San Francisco residents in their care
  • The caretakers failed to respond to complaints of sexual abuse at their facility or in their agency
  • The caretakers failed to:
    • Hire enough staff members
    • Educate their staff members
    • Encourage the reporting of any sexual misconduct
    • Protect seniors who are cognitively impaired
    • Rotate the staff members who care for each resident
    • Take other reasonable precautions

What is the value of a sexual abuse claim in San Francisco?

Garcia & Artigliere has more than 150 years of combined experience fighting for elderly abuse victims. Our team has achieved more than $3 billion in recoveries for our clients. We work with each victim’s doctors and our own independent network of senior care physicians to show the full scope of the senior’s physical and emotional harm.

Our San Francisco sexual abuse lawyers demand compensation for your loved one’s:

  • Medical expenses of every kind for as long as medical care is necessary. For seniors, that usually means for the rest of their lifetime.
  • Physical pain, including scarring, infections, diseases, and other physical harm
  • Daily emotional pain which for elderly sexual abuse victims can be unbearable
  • Loss of dignity
  • Loss of life’s pleasures

We also seek punitive damages against the abuser and against the caretaker if the caretaker’s conduct was egregious.

In one illustrative case, founding attorney Stephen M. Garcia obtained $5.4 million dollar for an 87-year-old woman who was continually sexually molested by the co-manager of a residential care facility. Even though the nursing home knew of prior allegations of sexual misconduct, the home never informed the Department of Social Services or Adult Protective Services. The nursing home’s delay in firing the co-manager enabled the co-manager to flee.

Do you have a San Francisco sexual abuse lawyer near me?

Garcia & Artigliere represents victims of sexual abuse in San Francisco. Senior sexual assault victims are frightened. They need family and friends to help them. They need skilled lawyers who can hold the wrongdoers accountable. We work with the police and other professionals to obtain justice for any type of sexual abuse of a senior.

Speak with our experienced San Francisco sexual abuse lawyers at Garcia & Artigliere today

At Garcia & Artigliere, our San Francisco elderly sexual abuse lawyers help seniors immediately by arranging for psychological counseling. We work with professionals who understand how to help victims recover while also helping victims assert their right to hold the abuse and other responsible parties accountable. Our lawyers are skilled at showing that your loved one was sexually abused and that a nursing home, assisted living facility, in-home service, or another type of caretaker is responsible. To help your loved one obtain justice, call or contact our offices today to schedule a free, confidential consultation.

We proudly serve San Francisco. Our lawyers also counsel clients across California, including Los Angeles, San Diego, and Long Beach, and nationwide including in Arizona, Kentucky, and Louisiana. There are no upfront fees. We handle sexual abuse of the elderly claims on a contingency fee basis.

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