Sex-Abuse Bill Would Create Two Classes of Justice

U-T San Diego
October 1, 2013

A flawed bill giving some victims of childhood sexual abuse more time to file lawsuits found its way through the state Legislature, but we hope Gov. Brown has the common sense to see SB 131 as the sham that it is and veto it.

The bill would open a one-year window to eliminate the statute of limitations for civil sex-abuse cases brought against private employers — essentially just private schools. In sex-abuse cases involving public schools, lawsuits can only be filed against the abuser, not the school or district. That doesn’t make any sense. Is the pain and suffering caused by sexual abuse any worse if it happens in a private school rather than a public school? Some 90 percent of the state’s children are in public schools.

The state enacted a similar law in 2002 that resulted in the Catholic Church settling more than 1,000 cases in California and shelling out more than $1.2 billion in restitution, most of which went to lawyers.

All children deserve equal protection. SB 131 is bad public policy. It discriminates against private schools, as well as victims who were abused in public schools. In essence, it creates two classes of victims — and two classes of justice.


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