July 29, 2005

Appeal aimed at changing law

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Posted: July 28, 2005
Attorneys representing four victims of clergy sexual abuse filed a court appeal Thursday that advocates hope will end the legal impediments that have made it virtually impossible in Wisconsin to sue the Archdiocese of Milwaukee or other denominations and churches in such cases.

"We are taking one more big step to protect the children of our state and bring justice for victims of clergy sexual abuse," Peter Isely, Midwest coordinator of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said in front of the Milwaukee County Courthouse. He said he thinks the appeal will overturn Wisconsin state law.

At issue are two major questions for people abused by clergy as minors: How soon after the abuse must victims sue? And does the Constitution's separation of church and state prevent such suits?

This month, a number of Wisconsin Supreme Court justices indicated in a clergy-abuse decision that they would be willing to deal with those questions given the right case.

Posted by kshaw at July 29, 2005 08:06 AM