California bishops fighting 2019 clergy sex abuse law

Associated Press

January 29, 2021

By Robert Jablon

Most California Roman Catholic bishops are asking a judge to throw out a 2019 law that allowed accusers of clergy sexual abuse to sue even if they were molested decades ago.

Motions filed this month in southern and northern superior courts ask judges to rule Assembly Bill 218 unconstitutional. Among the arguments was the assertion that the amount of time that had passed could make it harder for the defense to gather evidence.

California is one of at least 15 states that have extended the window for people to sue institutions over long-ago abuse, leading to thousands of new cases.

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