State extends window for suing child sex abusers, with 81 cases in Queens so far

Queens Daily Eagle

May 30, 2020

By David Brand

State lawmakers voted Wednesday to extended a so-called lookback window that allows survivors of childhood sex abuse to sue the perpetrators, regardless of when the abuse occurred.

The Child Victims Act took effect in August 2019, opening a one-year window for survivors to file civil complaints against their alleged abusers or the institutions that enabled the abuse. Lawmakers voted to extend the window until August 2021 to account for a two-month filing freeze that resulted from the COVID-19 court shutdown.

“This is a giant step forward for New York and, more broadly, the Child Protection Movement,” said attorney Jeff Anderson, who specialized in CVA cases and other litigation involving child sex abuse.

The state Senate voted unanimously to extend the measure, a significant departure from the members’ positions on the bill in recent years.

Lawmakers, particularly members of the Republican Party, repeatedly killed the bill amid pressure from groups like the Catholic Church and Boy Scouts of America. The Senate voted in favor of the measure in January 2019, after Democrats took control of the chamber.

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