Dozens of lawsuits filed on same day NJ sex abuse law goes into effect

1010 WINS Newsroom
December 01, 2019 - 6:05 pm

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NEWARK (1010 WINS/AP) – As of midnight, New Jersey has a new sex abuse law on the books that’s already resulted in more than 40 new lawsuits.

Adults who had been childhood sex abuse victims now have a two-year window in which to sue organizations like the Boy Scouts and the Catholic Church—lawsuits that had been prohibited because too much time had passed.

Attorney Jason Amala says there will be a snowball effect.

“As more and more people come forward that will cause others to feel that it’s safe to do so,” Amala said.

One of the first suits was filed by John Masker, who says he was abused by a Catholic priest at the age of 9.

“We get a sense of closure of the church finally having to admit to the public that, yes, this did happen to this person,” he said.

The law passed last spring went into effect Sunday and allows child victims to sue until they turn 55, or within seven years of their first realization that the abuse caused them harm. The limit was two years before the new law. Adult victims also have seven years from the discovery of the abuse, and victims who were previously barred by the statute of limitations have a two-year window to file claims.

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