CA--Statewide drive to reform CA child sex laws to start

For immediate release: Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2015

Statement by Joelle Casteix of California, SNAP Southern California director (949-322-7434[email protected])

A statewide petition drive to make California kids safer by repealing archaic, predatory-friendly laws will soon start. We applaud this move and the brave survivor who’s responsible for it.

Will Lynch, who was sexually violated as a child by a Jesuit priest, has begun a ballot initiative to repeal the arbitrary criminal and civil statutes of limitations on child sex crimes, the time limits that prevent most child victims from exposing their perpetrators in court and prevent most prosecutors from pursuing those molesters.

We in SNAP believe there should be no statute of limitations on these heinous, life-altering crimes. These statutes give those who commit or conceal child sexual abuse the incentive to intimidate victims, discredit witnesses, threaten whistleblowers, destroy evidence, stonewall police, and deceive prosecutors, so that the deadline to charge or sue the wrongdoers passes. It’s astonishingly irresponsible and callous to let this reckless injustice continue.

Many states have relaxed, reformed or revoked these dreadful statutes. A handful have gone further and adopted temporary repeals or “windows” that enable any child sex abuse victim to use the civil courts to take action against and warn the public about child molesters.

We hope millions of California citizens sign these petitions and vote for this sorely-needed measure. We also challenge California Catholic officials to put their muscle behind this effort. Bishops talk the abuse prevention talk. They rarely walk the abuse prevention walk, however. In fact, they often oppose secular legal reforms that would protect kids. So  we urge them to honor their repeated pledges to put the safety of children first by throwing their political weight and vast resources behind this struggle.

(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

Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, [email protected][email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747[email protected])

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