NY: New York Enacts Revival Statutes, Renewing Expired Claims for Sexual Assault

Source: weil.com 8/2/22

In 2019, the state of New York passed legislation extending the statute of limitations for civil causes of action for certain sex offenses from three years to 20 years. However, that law was prospective only. Now, New York is providing recourse for sexual assault survivors whose civil claims have expired. On May 24, 2022, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed the Adult Survivors Act (ASA) into law. A so-called “revival statute,” the ASA provides a one year window for adult sexual assault survivors to bring otherwise time-barred civil claims against their alleged abusers and other responsible parties, including public and private institutions, such as the individual perpetrator’s employer.

In this month’s column, we discuss the backdrop for the passage of the ASA and present an overview of the law, as well as another statute with a revival window on the horizon—New York City’s Victims of Gender-Motivated Violence Protection Law. We also offer practical suggestions for employers to consider in anticipation of lawsuits which may be filed once the ASA’s revival window opens this fall.

Revival Statutes

Since the #MeToo movement gained nationwide momentum in 2017, many commentators have observed that often victims of sexual misconduct do not come forward at the time of the offense. See, e.g., Kaelyn Forde, Why more Women don’t Report Sexual Assaults, ABC News (Sept. 27, 2018). This happens for a variety of reasons, including confusion, shame, or fear of victim-blaming, retaliation, not being believed, or potential career and community repercussions. A common thread among the reasons victims do not bring claims is the existence of power dynamics where the perpetrator holds economic or other influence over their victim that coerces the victim not to seek redress.

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I’m honestly sick to my stomach how much NY gets away with when it comes to these laws. Their laws somehow trump Federal laws where they can list your overseas address and everything even though you no longer live in the country.

There isn’t anyone even fighting these laws because the judges will just say it’s still helping to keep NY residents safe from someone who doesn’t live in the country.

When my lawyer pled to have me lowered to tier 1 they had said even though I had gotten married, had a great support group, had my own business and changed my life completely and haven’t committed another crime from when I caught my case in 2007 I was still a danger to NY and would have to remain on the registry for life as a tier 2 even though my original offense was from Michigan and I have no ties to NY

Anyway will hopefully be able to change my nationality in about 4 years. Glad I left when I did.