Sexual predator act author tries to outmaneuver opponents

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

March 25, 2018

By Ty Tagami

The sponsor of Georgia legislation to give adults more time to sue people they say molested them when they were children is trying a legislative maneuver to save his bill.

After the Senate reduced what the Hidden Predator Act of 2018 offered victims, Rep. Jason Spencer, R-Woodbine, on Friday got his colleagues in the House of Representatives to revive the version it adopted by a 170-0 vote last month.

That version extended the statute of limitations for victims’ lawsuits to age 38 from the current 23, and it opened a one-year window for adults of any age to sue. It also allowed lawsuits against organizations accused of harboring predators even if the sexual abuse and the cover-up occurred decades ago.

But on Thursday a Senate committee, which had been lobbied by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta and by the Boy Scouts of America, changed the bill in a way that made it harder to sue organizations.

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