NY--Victims blast NYC prosecutors for inaction on proposed bill
For immediate release: Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Only one New York City prosecutor is brave, wise and caring enough to advocate repealing the state’s archaic child sex abuse deadline that endangers kids and helps predators.
This is yet another reason why fixing the predator-friendly civil statute of limitations is crucial – because often, prosecutors are timid about taking on tough child sex cases against powerful institutions. When this happens, victims of horrific childhood sexual violence need and deserve the chance to expose wrongdoers in civil courts.
And often, prosecutors charge only those who commit abuse, not those who conceal it. So the perpetrator is exposed but the enablers - those who conceal the crimes – get off scot-free.
Often, supervisors and colleagues who protect child molesters are exposed only through civil lawsuits. And when they are exposed, others who are tempted to keep quiet about or cover up child sex crimes are deterred.
We applaud Queens District Attorney Richard Brown for his courage and compassion in backing this sorely-needed, long-overdue reform that will better safeguard New York children. We hope other New York prosecutors start moving more aggressively to stop child rapists.
It’s true that, over time, memories fade, witnesses die and evidence gets stale. (That’s true of all kinds of crime, not just child sexual abuse, so should we stop all prosecution of all crimes, because prosecuting criminals is tough?)
It’s also true that over time, scientific and forensic advances make some prosecution easier. And over time, more and more victims of one child molester gain the strength and courage to step forward, so sometimes dozens of devastated young adults are willing to pursue charges against a serial predator but can’t in New York because of an arbitrary, rigid and tight deadline.
And it’s true that some types of criminal cases are harder to win. That doesn’t mean, however, that those crime victims should all be barred from any kind of justice.
Over time, we’ve changed laws and practices to better address more complex crimes like terrorism, drug cartels and financial fraud. We can and must do the same with child sex abuse and cover ups.
Now the burden is on Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. and Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark and the District Attorneys Association of the State of New York (headed by Robyn Pangi). One in four girls in their jurisdictions will be molested. So will one in eight boys.
So if these prosecutors aren’t backing the one reform most sought by crime victims, what ARE these prosecutors pushing in Albany to stop his horror?
Imagine if one in four NYC cars owned by women were stolen, or if one in eight NYC apartments rented by men were burglarized. Prosecutors would jump into action.
But one in four girls and one in four boys in New York City are raped, sodomized or fondled.
No matter what prosecutors, lawmakers or church officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in churches or institutions to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling law enforcement, get justice by calling attorneys, and be comforted by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
EXCLUSIVE: Only 1 NYC district attorney supports fixing state law to help child abuse victims seek justice
BY STEPHEN REX BROWN NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Wednesday, April 20, 2016
One of the city's district attorneys is in favor of extending the criminal statute of limitations on charges of sexual abuse of children — but the others refused to take a stand.
Queens District Attorney Richard Brown’s support of overhauling the oft-maligned law barring criminal charges after the victim turns 23 years old comes as the state Senate considers a bill to do just that.
“We have long been supportive of extending the criminal statute of limitations for young victims of sexual abuse,” Kevin Ryan, a Brown spokesman, told the Daily News.
But other district attorneys were more reluctant to tackle the issue.
The offices of Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. and Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark all referred The News to the District Attorneys Association of the State of New York.
The association occasionally issues . . .
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.
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.