January 06, 2005

Proposal would aid victims of sex abuse

Toledo Blade


A Democratic lawmaker from Toledo is hoping events in California - where earlier this week there was a reported record $100 million settlement between the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange County and dozens of victims of sexual abuse - may give alleged Ohio victims a better chance to have their day in court.

State Rep. Teresa Fedor (D., Toledo) has been drawing up legislation that might make that situation easier.

Under her proposal - it is not a bill yet - Ohio would temporarily suspend its current two-year statute of limitations on cases of past sexual abuse involving minors. It is something that California did in 2003, leading to filings of hundreds of cases, including many that were part of a recent settlement between nearly 90 victims and the Orange County diocese.

Many of the California cases were decades old; the earliest allegation dated to 1936.

"The children not only need to be protected, they need to see justice served," Ms. Fedor said. "If we in Ohio can't iron that out, then we need to re-evaluate what we're doing as legislators."

Posted by kshaw at January 6, 2005 07:05 AM