March 17, 2005

Stokes Supports Bill To Extend Abuse Statute Of Limitations


POSTED: 5:31 am EST March 17, 2005

ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Dontee Stokes, the Baltimore man who shot a former priest after accusing him of sexual abuse, testified Wednesday in favor of legislation that would give victims more time to file civil lawsuits against their alleged abusers.

The bill extends the statute of limitations for victims who were abused before they turned 12. Such victims would be allowed to file suit until they turn 46. Current law allows suits only before those victims turn 25.

The bill, from Delegate Curt Anderson, D-Baltimore, also would open a one-time, one-year window for victims of child sexual abuse to file lawsuits stemming from long-ago episodes. The window would open Oct. 1, the date the bill would become law.

California and Illinois created such one-year windows, and Ohio is considering similar legislation.

"It could help many other pursue some sort of civil remedy. The (current) time limits, I feel, are unfair," Stokes said before he testified in front of the House Judiciary Committee.

Posted by kshaw at March 17, 2005 07:31 AM