Child Victims Act aims to help sex abuse victims take action

Posted: Updated:

A new act will go into effect Wednesday that is designed to help child sex abuse victims take action against their alleged abusers.

As part of the Child Victims Act, people who say they were victims of sexual abuse as children have one year to file civil lawsuits against their abusers, no matter how long ago the alleged abuse occurred. The window to file that suit under the law closes Aug. 14, 2020.

Massapequa native Rich Klein and his lawyer say they plan to file a lawsuit at 12:01 a.m. against the late Dr. Reginald Archibald. Klein alleges that Archibald, a pediatrician who worked at Rockefeller University and died in 2007, took photographs of him naked, "supposedly in the name of medical research, to try to help you."

Klein's lawyer, Jennifer Freeman, says the new law gives adult survivors of child sexual abuse the chance to hold their alleged abusers -- and the institutions for which they worked for -- accountable.

Freeman says her law firm represents more than 500 child sex abuse survivors in New York and expects to file more than 100 civil lawsuits when the law takes effect.

She says the Catholic Church, the Boy Scouts and school districts are among those bracing for an onslaught of lawsuits. The Diocese of Rockville Centre tells News 12 in part, "The financial impact of this law will be far reaching."

Legal experts say anyone who wants to file a civil suit should first talk with an experienced child sex abuse attorney.

The Boy Scouts of America tells News 12 in part, "We are outraged that there have been times when individuals took advantage of our programs to abuse innocent?children. We believe victims, we support them, we pay for counseling by a provider of their choice, and we encourage them to come forward."

Rockefeller University also tells News 12 in a statement, "Rockefeller University is committed to acting responsibly and working constructively with former patients of Dr. Archibald. We profoundly apologize to his patients who experienced pain and suffering as a result of his reprehensible conduct."

 

  • SlideshowsGalleriesMore>>

  • Dog Day Fridays for Oct. 18

    Dog Day Fridays for Oct. 18

    Friday, October 18 2019 10:16 AM EDT2019-10-18 14:16:58 GMT
    Douglas is a 5-year-old, male, neutered Cattle dog mix rescued through the Soi Dog Foundation in Thailand from the streets of Thailand. These dogs are often rounded up and sold to the dog meat trade in China. He is good with dogs and older children.Douglas is a 5-year-old, male, neutered Cattle dog mix rescued through the Soi Dog Foundation in Thailand from the streets of Thailand. These dogs are often rounded up and sold to the dog meat trade in China. He is good with dogs and older children.
    Douglas is a 5-year-old, male, neutered Cattle dog mix rescued through the Soi Dog Foundation in Thailand from the streets of Thailand. These dogs are often rounded up and sold to the dog meat trade in China. He is good with dogs and older children.Douglas is a 5-year-old, male, neutered Cattle dog mix rescued through the Soi Dog Foundation in Thailand from the streets of Thailand. These dogs are often rounded up and sold to the dog meat trade in China. He is good with dogs and older children.
    This week's dogs are up for adoption at Almost Home Animal Rescue & Adoption. The shelter is located at 646 Medford Ave. in Patchogue. Their phone number is (631) 627-3665.
    This week's dogs are up for adoption at Almost Home Animal Rescue & Adoption. The shelter is located at 646 Medford Ave. in Patchogue. Their phone number is (631) 627-3665.
  • Your Oct. 16 storm photos

    Your Oct. 16 storm photos

    Storm photos Oct. 17Storm photos Oct. 17
    Storm photos Oct. 17Storm photos Oct. 17
    Heavy right and high winds swept through the tri-state area due to a large coast storm on the night of Oct. 16. Here are your photos from the storm.
    Heavy right and high winds swept through the tri-state area due to a large coast storm on the night of Oct. 16. Here are your photos from the storm.
  • Yankees in the 2019 Playoffs

    Yankees in the 2019 Playoffs

    New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia throws against the Houston Astros during the 10th inning in Game 2 of baseball's American League Championship Series Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Houston.New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia throws against the Houston Astros during the 10th inning in Game 2 of baseball's American League Championship Series Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Houston.
    New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia throws against the Houston Astros during the 10th inning in Game 2 of baseball's American League Championship Series Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Houston.New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia throws against the Houston Astros during the 10th inning in Game 2 of baseball's American League Championship Series Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Houston.
    Photos on the field of the New York Yankees in the 2019 American League Division Series vs. the Minnesota Twins.
    Photos on the field of the New York Yankees in the 2019 American League Division Series vs. the Minnesota Twins.
sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."