New York Diocese Argues Child Victims Act is Unconstitutional, SNAP Responds
Once again, Catholic officials are trying to avoid consequences for clergy sexual abuse and cover-ups by attempting to prevent all survivors from having their day in court. We hope this latest legal maneuver fails and that victims throughout New York can continue to exercise their legal rights.
The Diocese of Rockville Centre on Long Island is arguing that the Child Victim’s Act is unconstitutional and that survivors who are currently bringing suits thanks to it should be stopped from doing so. However, there is no constitutional guarantee to a statute of limitations, so this last ditch effort seems like nothing more than a bald-faced attempt to prevent parishioners and the public from learning more about the extent of clergy abuse and cover-ups. Catholic officials have long lobbied against reform that benefits survivors, so this latest move is not a surprise.
We hope the court will agree with us and throw this desperate challenge out. And we hope that victims throughout New York will be galvanized by this maneuver and find the courage to come forward, make a report to police and prosecutors, and take steps toward healing.
CONTACT: Brian Toale, SNAP Manhattan (firstname.lastname@example.org, 646-657-9278), Janet Klinger, SNAP Long Island (email@example.com, 516-749-3798), Zach Hiner, Executive Director (517-974-9009, firstname.lastname@example.org)
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)