The New York State Legislature is considering a proposal to extend the Statute of Limitations for child-sex crimes. The bill, called the Child Victims Act, has not yet been brought to the floor for a vote, but Governor Andrew Cuomo has expressed support for it and even included funding for it in his proposed budget.
The bill would extend the Statute of Limitations for both criminal and civil cases, allowing victims to seek justice. The bill is opposed by the Catholic Church and the Boy Scouts of America. Both organizations could see a significant number of cases brought against them if the bill passes.
Opponents of the bill have argued that the increase in filings would cause a backlog in the judicial system, a claim that would seem to support extending the Statute of Limitations. If there are that many cases where justice has not been served, allowing victims to finally have their day in court should be the goal of every state legislature. Still, the fate of the bill is unknown at this time.
Advocates for child victims of sexual assault should continue to press the government on this legislation, and those who believe in justice should join them. Putting strict limitations on when child victims can file cases only serves the interests of the perpetrators, especially considering it can take many years for a victim to find the courage to come forward.
If you or someone you love has been injured, you might be aware of how short the Statute of Limitations on many cases can be. Please, consult with an experienced attorney regarding the filing deadlines for your case, to ensure that you get your day in court and the opportunity for the justice you are entitled to.