A new bill ruled by the state of New York will allow victims from sexual abuse, does not matter the age, and for a year, to file a law suit against the alleged criminal, guarantying payment for their actions not matter when the crime was committed.
Wave of Law Suits
With the new Law of Victims of Child Abuse in New York, a wave of law suits is expected to happen; the state has prepared itself to receive more than a thousand. That is why it has appointed 45 judges to exclusively handle the cases related to this law. It was approved early this year, but it was implemented in August.
On the first day the law came into force, at first hour, at least 85 people filed law suits against the Catholic Church, said New York Supreme Court. In most cases, victims presented their accusations against their abusers and those who covered them.
After a year has passed, in what is known as retrospective window, victims will be able to suit alleged abusers before a judge. This rises the age gap because the victim could file the law suit until he or she if 55 years old, previously age was until 23.
Likewise, prosecutors could present charges that can lead to prison before a jury until the victim is 28 years old, which raises the limit from 23 years olds, as it was established until now.
New York joined a dozen other states that ask for an expansion on the age limit, obtaining an increase on the statutes of limitation regarding filing law suits for this crime. Now it offers the possibility to go to court until the age of 55.
By 2003, the retrospective window in California managed to promote over a thousand trails, most of them against the Catholic Church, which meant the first step for San Diego Diocese to file for bankruptcy protection. The estimation is the in New York it can go over the amount of trails presented by the other states.
In the USA, there have been accusations against religious institutions, elite private schools, celebrities, movie producers, and business tycoons, like the recently deceased Jeffrey Epstein, accused of sex trafficking. He allegedly hanged himself in his cell, in Manhattan.
A Desire for Justice
Retrospective window gives the chance to many people to satisfy their desire for justice and, at the same time, balance the pain that might resurface when they have to relive the abuse in court.
Many victims thought they would never tell their story. Like Alessandra Biaggi, democratic senator for Bronx and main figure regarding the law, and senator Yuh-Line Niou, from the same party, and precur
sor of this initiative due to her experience with sexual abuse when she was underage.
The law firm, Weitz & Luxenberg, announced they will present more than 400 cases in the following weeks against different organizations from New York. The firm also said they represent more than 1200 alleged victims of child sexual abuse around the country. The accusers go from teenagers to elders of 90 years old.
Also, lawyers have set into motion a wide net while researching for their cases, including journals, TV shows, and Google with ad services.
Over the last year, laws in almost 40 states presented proposal to expand the limitation statute. The new laws were adopted in 18 states and the District of Columbia. New Jersey was one of those states, also adopting a law which includes a retrospective window said to be in effect later this year.
For some, the Law for Victims of Child abuse, which offers this window or retrospective or justice, will help many to face their past and reach a conclusion.