A state lawmaker from Westchester has proposed legislation to extend the time victims can file charges against sexual predators.
Assemblywoman Sandy Galef, a Democrat from Ossining, said once new details about alleged sex criminals emerge, victims up to the age of 50 should be allowed to file civil charges that include monetary damage awards.
Current state law sets a five-year statute of limitations for criminal charges starting at the age of 18. The proposed bill would increase the statute of limitations for victims up to age 23.
Galef said, "The revelation of the long enduring, systemic sexual abuse of children that took place within the Catholic Church in Pennsylvania is abhorrent," as reported here by Daily Voice as well as here.
"Far too often we say that someone else will deal with an issue, or that it doesn't affect us so we let it slip from our memories.," Galef said. "This behavior is horrifying, and yet we fail to take action. Stories like these, big and small, institutional and individual have gained much more attention in the current climate."
Galef added: "We must do more. We, after all, are our brother's keeper. That is why I am so proud to be a cosponsor of A.5885-A/S.6575, a bill that makes some much needed changes to the statute of limitations with regards to the sexual abuse of children."
Additionally, Galef said the proposed bill would permit civil charges to be filed up until the plaintiff is 50 years old.
"This allows people the time they need to come to terms with their situation," Galef said. "Survivors often wait years to feel comfortable enough to speak out. This bill gives them recourse for when they do."
The state Assembly has passed this bill many times, Galef said, only to be defeated in the state Senate.
"Abuse is horrifyingly too common. This bill helps bring closure, justice, and peace to those who need it most," Galef said.
"I would encourage you all to research this topic and reach out to your New York State Senators to pass this bill, Galef said. "Survivors deserve their day in court."
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