NYS lawmakers pass Child Victims Act

Queens Chronicle

January 31, 2019

by Ryan Brady

New York is finally set to make the Child Victims Act law.

The legislation was passed by the state Legislature on Monday and is expected to soon be signed by Gov. Cuomo, who included the bill in his fiscal year 2020 budget proposal.

The Child Victims Act would extend the statute of limitations for victims to bring civil legal actions against sexual abusers and organizations thought to have allowed the abuse to occur, giving victims until they turn 55 years old to bring a case.

The bill also seeks to extend the statute for prosecutors to bring criminal charges. Those would be brought until the victim of the abuse turns 28 years old in felony cases; for misdemeanors, it would be 23 years old.

Additionally, the legislation would create a one-year “lookback window” during which civil actions could be started over abuse cases with expired statutes of limitations.

It aims also to change the law so civil claims against public institutions over sexual abuse do not require a 90-day notice of claim.

Many Capitol observers were moved by the remarks of four female legislators, including Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz (D-Jackson Heights), who spoke on the floors of their chambers about sexual abuse they’d personally experienced.

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