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Report on priest cover-up renews support for Child Victims Act

<p>Many are calling for the passage of the Child Victims Act in light of the new allegations against more than 300 priests accused of being sexual predators dating back decades.</p>

News 12 Staff

Aug 15, 2018, 11:29 PM

Updated 2,111 days ago

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Many are calling for the passage of the Child Victims Act in light of the new allegations against more than 300 priests accused of being sexual predators dating back decades.
The bill would allow a one-year window for past victims to file criminal or civil complaints. Current law only allows victims to pursue criminal charges or a civil suit until 23 years old.
"We're just going to continue to hear more and more about child abuse from years back that has gone unaddressed for a long time. We can't let this continue," said state Sen. John Brooks.
The Child Victims Act would allow criminal charges to be filed until a victim is 28 years old, and civil suits to be brought until a victim is 50.
The law passed in the Assembly, but hasn't passed the state Senate.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo wrote in a statement, "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."
Laura Ahearn, from the Crime Victims Center, believes much of the opposition is about money.
“They're going to have a jury decide what the damages are worth. In some cases, they've been millions of dollars, so there is compelling interest in…institutions are trying to protect themselves from that liability,” said Ahern.
A spokesman for state Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, who has opposed the Child Victims Act, says a number of members expressed concerns about the bill's "look-back window” - that would give past sex abuse victims one year after making an accusation to start a civil lawsuit.


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