May 24, 2019
By Cassandra Pollock
The House initially exempted churches and nonprofits from the extended statute of limitations, but the chamber agreed to include them Friday after sex assault victims pushed back.
A proposal at the Texas Legislature that would give victims of child sexual abuse more time to sue their abusers and the organizations they were affiliated with is headed to the governor’s desk.
House Bill 3809, filed by state Rep. Craig Goldman, R-Fort Worth, would let people file civil lawsuits against alleged abusers 30 years after the victims turn 18. Current law only allows for a 15-year threshold to sue. That lengthened statute of limitations would apply to culpable entities, a provision the Senate added back into the legislation after the House stripped language related to those institutions from the bill.
Goldman moved to concur with the Senate’s version of the bill Friday, with members signing off on it unanimously.
Goldman’s bill first surfaced in April, when Becky Leach, wife of state Rep. Jeff Leach, R-Plano, shared her story of child sexual abuse before the House committee chaired by her husband. At that hearing, Becky Leach, who testified for the bill, said she wanted to use her experience to help others who haven’t yet come forward.
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