Support given for bill that would lift statute of limitations

Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio, Pacific Daily News July 30, 2016

Guam is on its way to becoming the first U.S. territory to allow victims of child sex abuse to sue their perpetrator at any time, without restriction, on retroactive cases.

As of Friday, there was no opposition to a bill that would remove time restrictions for suing child sex abusers. A public hearing on the bill is scheduled to resume Monday.

“We cannot continue to expect the church to fix itself in this regard,” Chalan Pago resident Gerard Taitano told senators on Thursday. “We must hold child sex abusers and their enablers accountable for their actions. Serious moral, legal and ethical questions arise whenever a prosecutor cannot adequately indict child sex predators or their enablers.”

Other U.S. jurisdictions are considering expanding or eliminating statutes of limitations on rape and child sex abuse, because of high-profile sex abuse allegations, including those involving members of the Catholic church.

In Guam’s case, the recent allegations involve the archbishop, the highest leader of the local Catholic church. The alleged sex abuses, according to his accusers, happened when Apuron was still parish priest at the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church in Agat during the 1970s.

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