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National

PA: Senators eye raising age limits in child sex abuse lawsuits

HARRISBURG, Pa. —Pennsylvania’s top legal office is telling lawmakers that it’s unconstitutional to retroactively give victims of child sexual abuse more time to sue, although some lawmakers remain willing to support it. Full Article

Related

http://www.philly.com/philly/opinion/20160613_Letters__Protect_all_victims_of_sex_abuse.html

Join the discussion

  1. Lake County

    This is the attitude that is destroying the Constitution: “Sen. John Rafferty says he’ll support it and believes the question of constitutionality is best left to the courts to decide.” They were elected to uphold the Constitution, but believe they can pass any unconstitutional law until someone is able to contest it in the courts. I doubt that’s what our founding fathers intended.

    • Michael

      It’s the court’s authority to examine an executive or legislative act and to invalidate that act if it violates the constitution. It’s called judical review [see the Judiciary Act of 1789].

  2. Dray

    Just another slippery slope just like every other law. They don’t say nothing about giving somebody longer to Sue let’s say a drunk driver that wiped out a family, how about a murder? nothing about them , giving the victom longer to Sue only sexual abuse? Seems like pick on the weak and poor, they know we have a Limited amount of money to protect ourselves legally . . , United States is making the word “sex ” a very dirty word .

  3. JohnDoeUtah

    The State of Utah has done its homework and made sure that a Registrant could not sue, and be successful in arguing that the law is so punitive in effect that it should be barred. By making such a finding and putting it in the law, a civil law, they are avoiding ex post facto. The old Statue of Limitations was 4 years – no there is none. If a victim was previously time-barred under the old statue of limitations, they now have to file a lawsuit within 35 years of their 18th birthday, if against the perp.

    Effective 5/10/2016
    78B-2-308. Legislative findings — Civil actions for sexual abuse of a child — Window for revival of time barred claims.
    (1) The Legislature finds that:
    (a) child sexual abuse is a crime that hurts the most vulnerable in our society and destroys lives;
    (b) research over the last 30 years has shown that it takes decades for children and adults to pull their lives back together and find the strength to face what happened to them;
    (c) often the abuse is compounded by the fact that the perpetrator is a member of the victim’s family and when such abuse comes out, the victim is further stymied by the family’s wish to avoid public embarrassment;
    (d) even when the abuse is not committed by a family member, the perpetrator is rarely a stranger and, if in a position of authority, often brings pressure to bear on the victim to insure silence;
    (e) in 1992, when the Legislature enacted the statute of limitations requiring victims to sue within four years of majority, society did not understand the long-lasting effects of abuse on the victim and that it takes decades for the healing necessary for a victim to seek redress;
    (f) the Legislature, as the policy-maker for the state, may take into consideration advances in medical science and understanding in revisiting policies and laws shown to be harmful to the citizens of this state rather than beneficial; and
    (g) the Legislature has the authority to change old laws in the face of new information, and set new policies within the limits of due process, fairness, and justice.

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