Assemblyman D’Urso Co-Sponsored Bill to Help Victims of Childhood Sex Abuse Passed by Assembly

May 2, 2018

Assemblyman Anthony D’Urso announced legislation which he co-sponsored, known as the Child Victims Act, passed in the NYS Assembly. This bill’s purpose is to help people who were abused sexually when they were children to get justice against their abuser.

“Nothing is worse than hurting a child and it can take many years for the survivors of childhood sexual abuse to be ready to file charges against their abuser,” said Assemblyman D’Urso. “This bill would extend the time period to seek justice and to help the victims of sexual abuse move forward with their lives.”

Over 63,000 cases of children being sexually abused are reported each year and it is important that these survivors have the support they need to help them to recover and hold the abusers accountable for what they have done. The majority of abusers are known to the child and their families which can cause people to be fearful of pressing charges.

This bill originated in 2005 and since then the Assembly has been working to extend the statute of limitations and allow criminal cases to be commenced for felonies until the sex abuse survivor becomes 28 years old and until age 25 for misdemeanors. The existing law already allows starting cases for top-level sex offenses at any time.

Currently, someone who plans to sue a public entity must notify the entity of the intent to do so within 90 days. The Child Victims Act would remove the current notice of claim requirements for public entities by treating public and private entities equally.

This bill also pushes back the statute of limitations to permit civil actions to be brought until the victim’s 50th birthday. Those who have been abused can finally seek justice in the courts due to a one-year window that would be created for adult survivors to be able to revive cases which are now prohibited because the statute of limitations has expired.