Clergy sex abuse lawsuits taking advantage of new law

Kimberly Dole
December 02, 2019 - 12:39 pm
Sexual abuse lawsuits

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NEWARK, N.J. (1010 WINS/ AP) -- Lawsuits alleging sexual abuse by Roman Catholic clergy are taking center stage in New Jersey as the state's relaxation of statute of limitations rules takes effect.

Effective Dec. 1, the new law opens a two-year window that allows child victims to sue until they turn 55, or within seven years of their first realization the abuse caused them harm.

Victims previously barred by the statute of limitations have a two-year window to file claims.

The Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Zero Abuse Project are holding a press conference on Monday to discuss the new statute of limitations for sexual assault in New Jersey, with Sen. Joseph Vitale, child abuse survivors and advocates of those who were previously time-barred to seek justice via the civil system.

A new law allows child victims to sue until they turn 55, or within seven years of their first realization the abuse caused them harm. The previous limit was two years.

Victims previously barred by the statute of limitations have a two-year window to file claims.

Two sisters from Pennsylvania are suing the Archdiocese of Newark and the Diocese of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. They allege clergy in Newark knew a priest had sexually abused children before he moved to Harrisburg and abused them and their sisters for years.

A separate lawsuit accuses defrocked former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the former Archbishop of the Newark diocese.

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