House panel OKs bill to extend statute of limitations for sex-abuse lawsuits

Catholic Church Sexual Abuse 2The Rhode Island House Judiciary Committee has voted by unanimous decision to give victims of childhood sexual abuse more time to sue their abusers and the institutions that shielded these criminal predators. This bill is a welcome relief for sexual abuse victims and their families.

Jim Scanlan, a Rhode Island man whose account of sex abuse by a Boston College High School priest in the late 1970s that was highlighted in the Oscar-winning movie Spotlight had this to say during testimony, “This bill is important in that it allows a vehicle for more victims and survivors to come forward and really expose who the predators are, and partially to expose, those who protect them.”

In summary, the new bill proposes that the statute of limitations (time to file a legal claim) will extend from 7 to 35 years for childhood victims of sexual abuse done by priests, church clergy, Boy Scout leaders, teachers, coaches and others.

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