Dumler Could Face Civil Suit
As most everyone in the Charlottesville area knows, Albemarle County Supervisor Christopher Dumler pled guilty to a criminal charge of misdemeanor sexual battery in Albemarle County General District Court. A criminal conviction does not have to be the end of the story, however, because Mr. Dumler's victims can pursue a civil lawsuit against him. Criminal charges and civil claims are entirely separate things. Remember O.J. Simpson? He was found not guilty for the criminal charges but was ordered to pay huge sums in a subsequent civil lawsuit. In Virginia, a victim of sexual abuse may be able to bring a civil suit for, among other things, sexual battery, sexual assault, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. It would not matter that Mr. Dumler only pled guilty to the lesser charge of sexual battery, in a civil suit a victim could introduce other evidence to support her claim, including other acts committed by Mr. Dumler. In addition, Mr. Dumler's gulity plea would likely be admissible against him in a subsequent civil action. The statute of limitations in Virginia for most torts (the legal name for personal injury claims) is two years.