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James Daloisio
James Daloisio, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 101
Experience:  30 years experience in criminal law, continuing education.
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I sm a 46 yr old woman eho has suffered from PTSD from

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I sm a 46 yr old woman eho has suffered from PTSD from something that happened to me when I was 9 years old. 3 of my class mates at the time tried to kill me by drowning me in a hot tib at one of the classmates homes. They all 3 preplanned the attack and held me under the water for a substantial amount of time. When I finally fought them off enough to fight my way out of thr water, they all 3 were laughing at me saying it was an accident. However when they were holding me under the water I could hear one of them say keep going she cant live that much longer. Were almost done. Thsts whrn I goughy my way out and left gor home. I never told anyone about it until now. I was terrorized and bullied by those girls, 1 in particular more than the otbers gor several years agter that. She even ste from me on many occasions but was never held accountable. All that aside I have ever since had problems & nightmares about being drowned. Dishnosed with Major depression and PTSD many many yrs ago. Is this something that can be investigated & charged for.? Ever since that day I was never the same person. They stole my life. My ability to trust others. I still live in fear to this day of things I should not. Is there anything to be done? Thank you for ypur advice.

Hi, my name is*****'m an attorney and a former prosecutor. I am so sorry to hear of your experience. Unfortunately, you're not alone. Here is what I can tell you in response to your questions.

1. Your biggest challenge is going to be proving that the incident occurred in the first place. You've never told anyone, and I'm guessing the only witnesses were the three classmates who assaulted you. If they are still around, and if you are still in touch with them, you might try to get them to make admissions to you. This would have to be supervised by a law enforcement agency and make use of recorded phone calls. Also, any friends or family members who could recall changes in your behavior, mood, etc., when the incident occurred might help in establishing circumstantial evidence that something happened to you. And if you began receiving any kind of counseling or treatment, that would be another level of proof.

2. Remember that the people who did this to you were juveniles. Even if they could have been prosecute, it would have been under the juvenile laws of your state.

3. Generally speaking, an assault of this nature would be governed by the statute of limitations for a felony assault. In most jurisdictions that would be three years. However, if the evidence supported a charge of attempted murder, there would be no statute of limitations and a prosecution could be initiated at any time. But remember: it would be a juvenile prosecution. There is no jurisdiction that would treat people of this age as adults no matter what the offense. You may have heard about extending the statute of limitations in certain cases, but those are usually in cases of sexual assault. In your case, you were a victim of bullying.

4. Your state should have crime victim support services. Also, the National Center for Victims of Crime could direct you to support services. You can visit them here:

In summary: as a prosecutor, I do not see a viable prosecution for attempted murder. Therefore, I do not see a way around the statute of limitations problem. That doesn't mean that there aren't support services available for you. Likewise, the statute of limitations would bar a civil action as well. But don't give up. Start by going to your local police agency and find out if there are referral services available.

I hope this has been helpful for you.

James Daloisio and 2 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Thank you very much for your reply. I knew it was a long shot, however I think I am better to leave well enough alone and work on myself. I cant imagine facing any of those people again would do me any good. I will certainly take your advice and talk to appropriate counselors for myself. I believe that is the best advice. Its long past time for me to move past the fears that created for me.
Again I want to thank you and say God bless you for your wise mind and generous, beautiful heart.
Respectfully, *****