Catholic Diocese, county DA praise passage of Child Victims Act

Niagra Gazette

January 29, 2019

By Rick Pfeiffer

For survivor Paul Barr, the passage the long-awaited passage of the Child Victim’s Act meant one thing.

“It means vindication,” Barr said. “It means I get to defend 16-year-old Paulie Barr. Now I can stick up for that kid. Now (survivors of abuse at the hands of Catholic priests) get to stick up for the children we were and confront those who abused us or let us be abused.”

The legislation relaxes the statute of limitations for child molestation cases to give victims more time to file lawsuits or seek criminal charges. It was approved unanimously by the the Democrat-controlled Senate and Assembly late Monday afternoon.

It had failed in previous legislative sessions because of opposition by Republican members of the State Senate. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has promised that he will sign the bill into law.

Opposition to the law from Catholic Dioceses across the state which had been strenuous in prior legislative sessions melted away on Monday.

“My gut tells me they acquiesced when they had no choice, and they made it sound like it was their idea,” Barr said.

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