May 13, 2005

Lawmaker hopes sex-abuse movie will advance bill

TRENTON (NJ)
Asbury Park Press

BY TOM BALDWIN

TRENTON A boy in his teens who was sexually abused by a trusted priest tries to live with a haunting past. He heads off to the Navy. He weds, has children and buys a home to find the abusive priest is his family's new neighbor.

Now the abused man and his wife must agonize about their own children and "that monster" just down the street.

That real-life story in Toledo, Ohio, set the scene Thursday when a state lawmaker, seeking to change state law to enable sex-abuse victims to sue more broadly, aired an award-winning documentary on how the cover-up of sex abuse drove one victim and his family into frightening distress.

The showing of the film "Twist of Faith" a Sundance Film Festival and Academy Award nominee for best documentary at the Statehouse gave a fresh face to the usual, dry endorsements and back-room deal-making that often mark the legislative process.

It didn't make much of an impact. In the first of two showings, no lawmakers attended, and only a half-dozen supporters of the measure were there. Even fewer appeared for the second viewing.

Posted by kshaw at May 13, 2005 06:59 AM