’N.J. is going to find out who the hidden predators are.’ Sexual abuse survivors praise tough new law.
Todd Kostrub of Surf City started coming to the Statehouse in Trenton seven years ago to publicly share the dark secret that took him years to admit: His parish priest started raping him when he was a 7-year-old altar boy.
Kostrub said he revisited the shame and terrors of his memories to convince state lawmakers that survivors like him “deserve a taste a justice,” by expanding the window of time they get to sue their abusers in New Jersey. The law allowed childhood victims just two years past their 18th birthday to file a claim.
On Monday, Kostrub joined nearly 100 of fellow advocates at the Statehouse once again, this time to celebrate the enactment of the broadest statute of limitations law in the country for child and adult victims of rape.
Kostrub said he has hired a lawyer and is ready to savor whatever justice he can find.
“This is joy,” he said, hours after Gov. Phil Murphy signed the new statute of limitations legislation into law. “But I would trade anything in my life not to be here, to never have been a victim.”
The new law grants victims who previously could not file lawsuits because the statute of limitations had passed, a new two-year window — from Dec. 1, 2019, to Nov. 30, 2021 — to file their cases. Adults who were sexually assaulted as children may bring a civil suit up until the age of 55 or seven years after they make “the discovery" that connects their emotional and psychological injury to their sexual abuse, according to the law.
The legislation (S477) also gives adult sexual assault victims in New Jersey seven years to file a civil lawsuit, a change sought by the New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault.
“This legislation will change li...