September 7, 2021
By Susan Kerin
The Sept. 5 Politics & the Nation article “McCarrick pleads not guilty to child sex abuse charges” reported that ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick got his day in court related to three counts of child sex abuse.
In contrast, child sex abuse survivors in Maryland often don’t get their day in civil court because of stringent statute-of-limitation laws. In fact, the laws even restrict a child survivor from getting access (due process) to records that could help build a criminal case. Maryland’s Hidden Predator Act is intended to provide more justice for survivors of child sex abuse by removing the statute of limitation, providing a two-year lookback period and repealing the statute-of-repose designation that was inserted to thwart cases.
Since 2018, one-third of states have passed laws extending the civil statute of limitations and establishing a lookback window for child sexual abuse claims. We at Maryland Catholics for Action hope our General Assembly will commit to passage of the bill and give survivors of child sex abuse the justice and healing they deserve.
Susan Kerin, Rockville
The writer is director of Maryland Catholics for Action.