More than likely, you’ve already seen the media coverage. In Pennsylvania, the Grand Jury’s report on clergy sex abuse has brought on irrepressible outrage. For many of the victims, they will not get their day in court because of time limitations. As New York clergy sex abuse scandals surface, will the victims experience the same difficulties?
First, some important news for Pennsylvania child sex abuse sufferers. According to news reports, the House voted on reforms to current time limitations for survivors to pursue claims. The Senate must approve the changes, giving victims a two-year window to retroactively file lawsuits.
In the meantime, New York has joined the quest to unravel cases of clergy sex abuse, together with the cover-ups promulgated by church officials.
New York and Clergy Sex Abuse
The atrocities of child sex abuse by priests are hitting the New York press on a daily basis. In fact, a national news report says that parishioners are calling for the resignation of a Catholic bishop in the Buffalo diocese. Critics do not accuse him of personally assaulting children. Instead, they say that he shielded “predator priests” from public exposure.
Following the example of Pennsylvania, the Attorney General of New York has already started investigations and issued civil subpoenas to all of New York’s dioceses. The requests are for documents over several decades. Unfortunately, there’s a chance that a pattern of complicity may also exist in Pennsylvania’s neighboring state.
The New York Attorney General means business as far as uncovering the truth in these cases. She has also set up a hotline to take in calls from clergy sex abuse victims. Individuals may also complete a form on the internet to report clergy abuse.
Time Limitations for New York Victims
Once the floodgates open, more and more people may come forward. Sometimes hearing of another’s pain may trigger bad memories. For some, an old report may surface that was dismissed and buried by local parish officials.
So, what happens as far as time limitations for New York clergy sex abuse victims? When it comes to pursuing criminal charges, the statute of limitations is just five years. New York is in the process of considering a new law that would allow victims to press criminal charges up to their 28th birthdays.
In the meantime, victims also have the right to pursue civil charges for claims involving clergy sex abuse. Bills currently under consideration by the State Legislature in New York would raise the civil statute of limitations to age 50. Claims for older victims would be extended by one year.
Under New York’s current laws, civil claims must be filed by the time victims have attained the age of 23.
Contact Fellerman & Ciarimboli to see how we can help you if you have been abused by a member of the clergy. We are committed to assisting individuals with this very difficult problem. We are compassionate and understand the sheer magnitude of these issues.
With more than 40 years of combined experience, the personal injury attorneys at Fellerman & Ciarimboli strive to provide the best service to clients in Philadelphia, Northeast Pennsylvania, and throughout the Keystone State.