News Story of the Day
LISTEN: State lawmakers want to eliminate the statute of limitations on sex-abuse lawsuits. Here's why.
Right now, if you're older than 48, you can't file a civil lawsuit in Connecticut alleging you were sexually abused as a minor.
State lawmakers want to change that. Success could mean hundreds of costly new lawsuits against the Catholic Church.
Capitol Watch sits down with reporter Dave Altimari, whose coverage of priest abuse prompted lawmakers to take action. We also talk to sexual abuse survivor Gail Howard, who now co-leads the peer network SNAP.
State lawmakers will announce on Thursday they have reached an agreement that will repeal New Jersey’s narrow two-year statute of limitations that childhood victims of sexual assault say have prevented them from suing churches and other nonprofits, NJ Advance Media has learned.
Pope Francis has called an unprecedented “summit” of bishops to the Vatican to discuss for the umpteenth time the problem of sexual abuse by priests — this one is focused on the abuse of children. The summit starts Feb. 21 and ends on the night of the Academy Awards, Feb. 24.
Under mounting pressure to identify clergy accused of sexual misconduct, New Jersey’s five Catholic dioceses opened their files Wednesday and released the names of every priest and deacon “credibly accused” of sexually abusing a child over multiple decades.
The Catholic Diocese of Lafayette has yet to release its own list of priests accused of sexually abusing children. But diocesan spokeswoman Blue Rolfes says it is in the works and could be wrapped up soon.
On Oct. 18, 2018, Bishop Patrick McGrath of the San Jose Diocese released a public list of “priests with credible allegations of sex abuse” in the Diocese. That list contained only 15 names. In comparison, other dioceses in the U.S. this past year released lists of clergy abusers with much higher numbers.
Abuse of Faith: 20 years, 700 victims: Southern Baptist sexual abuse spreads as leaders resist reforms
Published Feb. 10, 2019
First of three parts
Thirty-five years later, Debbie Vasquez's voice trembled as she described her trauma to a group of Southern Baptist leaders.
She was 14, she said, when she was first molested by her pastor in Sanger, a tiny prairie town an hour north of Dallas. It was the first of many assaults that Vasquez said destroyed her teenage years and, at 18, left her pregnant by the Southern Baptist pastor, a married man more than a dozen years older.
By Kate Snow, Aliza Nadi and Rich Schapiro
When the clock struck 8 p.m. inside the Aritao boarding school in the Philippines, the children would gather in a common area for their evening routine.
NEW YORK - Two state attorneys general that have issued reports on the Catholic Church’s handling of clerical sexual abuse cases doubled-down on Monday, defending their efforts and saying the Church cannot be responsible for policing itself.
The passage of New York’s Child Victims Act, the result of a long-fought war for childhood sexual abuse survivors and an important precedent for other states to follow, provides a narrow window of opportunity for survivors to come forward. In 2003, I was one of the attorneys who led civil litigation for a precedent-setting case after California opened a one-year window lifting the statute of limitation for claims against private institutions. During that litigation, hundreds of clergy abuse victims came forward, including 25 who united to end decades of child-endangering secrecy by the Roman Catholic religious order known as the Franciscan Friars. The litigation forced the publication of secret files documenting abuse by Franciscan priests and brothers.
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.