R.I. lawmakers mull ending statute of limitations on lawsuits

By Katherine Gregg, March 30, 2018, Providence Journal

Abuse victims gave wrenching accounts at a House hearing on the bill introduced by Rep. Carol Hagan McEntee, whose legislation was motivated by her own sister’s repeated abuse as a child by their family’s parish priest.

ROVIDENCE, R.I. — A Rhode Island lawmaker has ripped the scab off the Catholic Church sex-abuse scandal with legislation born out of her older sister’s repeated abuse, as a child, by their family’s parish priest.

Rep. Carol Hagan McEntee’s legislation would remove the seven-year statute of limitations on the pursuit of legal claims against perpetrators of sex abuse. The statute of limitations derailed a lawsuit by two former victims of an infamous pedophile priest in 2016.

A late-night hearing on her bill earlier this week drew pained personal recollections from her sister, now a 65-year-old psychologist; a well-known doctor talking about his abuse publicly for the first time; and Jim Scanlan, a R.I. man whose account of sex-abuse by a Boston College High School priest in the late 1970s figured in the Oscar-winning movie “Spotlight.”

But the tales of abuse by trusted elders were not limited to . . . 

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