After the recent release of the grand jury report out of Pennsylvania stating that over 300 clergy members of the Catholic Church have allegedly sexually abused over 1,000 victims throughout several decades, Governor Cuomo called upon the state Senate to pass the extending statute of limitations.
“The revelations and sheer breadth of child sexual abuse by clergy members in Pennsylvania underscore the pervasiveness of this abhorrent crime and needs to be a call for action here in New York,” Cuomo said.
The legislation Cuomo is urging to get passed is the Child Victims Act. For years the passage of this bill has been rejected by the Republican party. The passing of the bill would extend the statute of limitations for victims of child sex abuse up until the age of 28 and up until age 50 for civil cases. Currently. The oldest a victim can be before they can press charges against their abuser is 23. A one year look-back window for older victims has been prevented by the Catholic Church.
“Currently under state law, the majority of child sexual abuse offenses cannot be prosecuted after five years, allowing abusers to go free and commit further abuse. That must change,” Cuomo said. “For years, I have called for the passage of the Child Victims Act to provide victims with a path to justice, and for years Senate Republicans have blocked it. It’s far past time the Senate does the right thing, pass this bill and stand up for the victims of sexual abuse.”
Republican Senator Catharine Young created an alternative bill, months ago that would allow a hearing process for victims of child sex abuse, but does not include an extension of the statute of limitations. Young believes that this alternate legistation would provide victims restitution through the government because abusers are not always capable of providing funds to pay victims in the civil suits. A $300 million fund would be created using asset forfeiture from Manhattan District Attoney Cyrus Vance’s office. Vance opposes Young’s bill strongly.
The lawmakers will return in January 2019 at which point the Democrats in Senate would yield more power on the subject of this bill, and which way it could fall, but Republicans remain confident that they will maintain the house majority.
If you have been sexually abused please call our clergy sexual abuse fighters at Alonso Krangle LLP at 800-403-6191 or through our website at www.fightforvictims.com. Our attorneys are sensitive to your story and will assist you in recourse and the compensation and justice you deserve. We will fight together against your abuser or any institution that has failed to protect you. Please call us today to review your legal rights.