Victims, advocates rally for child sex abuse law change

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SMITHTOWN -

Victims and advocates rallied Thursday to push state lawmakers to act on legislation that would eliminate a statute of limitations for child sex abuse victims. 

Harold Siering says he was sexually abused beginning at age 10 but did not reveal his secret until he was 42. 

"I never told a soul," says Siering.

He and others pushed state lawmakers to pass the Child Victims Act, which would allow childhood sex abuse victims to take legal action against their abusers no matter when the abuse took place.

They rallied outside the offices of Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan and state Sen. Phil Boyle in an effort to get the bill to the floor for a vote. 

"It's been stalled and delayed for over 10 years, and there's always a different excuse," says Siering. 

State Sen. Flanagan told News 12 Long Island that internal discussions are happening on the issue. 

"I know there have been steps taken outside by the Catholic Church, and the Assembly has their own versions," state Sen. Flanagan told News 12

There's not much time left for state lawmakers to act on the bill. The session ends next month. 

The New York State Catholic Conference, which represents the bishops in the state, issued a statement saying while the group opposes the retroactive piece of the Child Victim's Act, it does support other legislation aimed at protecting children and bringing justice to survivors.

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