An accused sex offender may safeguard assets from a civil judgment
By Attorney Elisabeth K.H. Pasqualini, Sex Offense Defense Attorney, Harrisburg, PA
Following the Jerry Sandusky conviction, there was a feeding frenzie on behalf of the endless parade of victims from the woodwork. Would the University settle with them, what about Mr. Sandusky's assets? Civil Judgments may occur following a criminal trial, based upon an entry of judgment that the perpetrator committed some type of tortious conduct against the victim. There is no bar to such claims, pursuant to 'Double Jeopardy' because that constitutional prohibition only applies to multiple criminal trials. Not a civil trial based upon the same factual scenario as an earlier criminal trial.
Those who seek civil remedies against a convicted sex offender may be limited in their recovery when the assets are held as joint tenants by the entireties
Even though a civil judgment may occur, there are limits on what the creditor (victim who gets a judgment) may obtain. Generally, they may only gain access to individually held assets. For instance, marital property held as entireties property is not vulnerable to a debtor-spouse's creditors, absent fraud. Thus, jointly owned bank accounts of a husband and wife are not ordinarily subject to attachment by the creditor of only one of the spouses. There is a presumption in the absence of evidence to the contrary that such accounts are held as a tenancy by entirety.
If you have questions regarding your assets when you've been accused or investigated as a sex offender, contact Shaffer & Engle Law Offices, LLC to discuss your matter. You may contact us toll free or email us today.