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NY easing statute of limitations for molestation

January 28, 2019 06:09 PM

New York is poised to relax the statute of limitations for child molestation to give victims more time to file lawsuits or seek criminal charges.

The legislation, known as the Child Victims Act, passed the Democrat-controlled Senate and Assembly on Monday. Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo intends to sign the bill into law.

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The act would extend the statute of limitations going forward and create a one-year window for civil suits now barred by the statute of limitations.

Abuse survivors have long pushed for the bill, which was blocked for years by Senate Republicans. Democrats vowed to pass the measure quickly after they won a Senate majority last fall.

The Catholic Church dropped its long opposition to the act after it was revised to treat public and private schools the same.

For victims of child sex abuse, the significance of this can never be overstated. They have been fighting for this legislation for more than a decade. They have been living with the pain and anguish of not having this legislation for their entire adult lives.

The Child Victims Act has brought about discussions of excommunication.

For those who support it, it is not a comfortable position for anyone to be in.

"For those of us who are Catholics, it's not a pleasant position to have the Catholic Church criticizing you, but Pope Francis gives me comfort on this issue," said Gov. Andrew Cuomo. "The abuse of minors is an offense so brutal the church cannot remain indifferent to this – and the church must punish such priests."

"These last 12 years waging this battle has been so difficult because there have been moments along the way where there have been suggestions that those of us fighting for this, that we have been called anti-Catholic and nothing could be further from the truth," said Steve Jimenez with New Yorkers Against Hidden Predators.

Credits

Dan Levy / AP

Copyright 2019 WNYT-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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