this legislation, which would amend the civil practice law and rules,
the criminal procedure law, the court of claims act, the general
municipal law, education law and judiciary law, in relation to the
timeliness for commencing certain civil and criminal actions related to
sex offenses committed against children.
This legislation would allow the criminal statute of limitations,
pertaining to sexual offenses committed against children, to commence
at the age of 23 rather than the age of 18. It would also allow civil
actions to be brought forth on or before the victim reaches 55 years of
age. In addition, it also allows childhood survivors of sexual abuse,
who cannot sue under the current law, a one-year window to pursue civil
action. Furthermore, it would require the office of court
administration to provide training for judges concerning crimes
involving the sexual abuse of minors. The 90-day notice of claim for
bringing civil litigation against a public institution would be
eliminated as well.
We know that victims of childhood sexual abuse may not disclose for
many years or even decades. They struggle with coming to terms with the
fact that a loved one or trusted adult committed such a heinous act
against them. It is important to provide these victims with the time
they need to disclose and to provide an opportunity for recourse.
New York State is among the worst states when it comes to childhood
sexual abuse statute of limitations and this has to change. We know
that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused before they turn e
ighteen. The effects of sexual abuse can be profound and
life-changing. We must protect victims and give them an opportunity to
seek the justice they deserve.
NYSCASA supports this legislation as it would add essential amendments
to the current law, and urges the legislature to pass this bill and for
the Governor to sign it into law.