by Joel Rose
January 3, 2012
Stories of child sexual abuse dominated the headlines in 2011, but because the alleged crimes happened so long ago, few of the victims in those cases were able to sue their abusers.
Now, lawmakers around the country are pushing to extend or waive their states’ statute of limitations for childhood sexual abuse charges, but the initiative has its opponents — including the Catholic Church — who argue it could unleash a torrent of lawsuits.
Giving A Voice To The Abused
It took almost 30 years, but in December 2011, Richard Fitter finally went public with the allegation that former New Jersey priest John Capparelli had repeatedly groped him in the early 1980s.
Fitter says he first reported Capparelli to another priest in 1992. Capparelli, who denies the allegations, was removed from the ministry. Fitter thought Capparelli was no longer working with children, but he continued to teach in Newark, N.J., public schools until reports detailing a long list of allegations against him appeared last year in the Newark Star-Ledger. When Fitter read those stories, he decided it was time to come forward — again.
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