Bill would extend statute of limitations for childhood sex abuse victims to file suit

Los Angeles Times

September 26, 2018

By Laura Newberry

A bill sitting on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk could give survivors of childhood sexual assault much more time — in some cases, decades — to sue those who might have stopped their abuse.

The proposed law, written by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego), would allow victims to file abuse claims until they are 40 years old. It would also permit those who have repressed memories of abuse to sue within five years of unearthing the cause of their trauma.

If enacted, the bill would be a symbol of progress for abuse survivors such as Tim Lennon, president of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. Lennon was raped by a Roman Catholic priest when he 12 years old but buried the memory until he was 43.

“If a survivor does make the brave choice to come forward, they only have a restricted amount of time to seek justice,” Lennon said of the current statute of limitations.

Victims in California can sue a third party that may have ignored or covered up abuse — such as a private school or a church — until they are 26 years old or three years after coming to terms with repressed memories, whichever occurs later.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.