Guest Blog: The Statute of Limitations Maze

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

June 28, 2019

By John Winer

After what seemed like a brief lull, various Dioceses throughout the United States are facing a steady stream of accusations from adults who, as children, were sexually abused by clergy in the Catholic Church. And, there seems to be a great deal of willingness on the part of elected officials to help streamline the process, something that did not exist in previous generations.

Throughout the country there seems to be a reawakening of these allegations as District Attorneys in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York and elsewhere have either brought new charges or released the names of priests and others accused of child sex abuse. Archdiocese of New York named 120 clergy who were “credibly accused” of child sex abuse and a law firm released another 300 names accused of abuse in New Jersey.

There is reason to believe the California government will change the civil statute of limitations standard currently in place. The change will allow adult survivors of sexual abuse while a minor to bring claims up to their 40th birthday. At the same time, the statute of limitations for sexual abuse of adults will be changed from two years to 10 years. This will allow California sexual abuse victims to have a far larger window to bring a civil case for monetary damages.

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