November 04, 2005

Abuse victim seeks change in law

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Posted: Nov. 3, 2005
A former Beaver Dam woman who just settled a sexual abuse lawsuit in South Dakota against the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and the Diocese of Sioux Falls was in Milwaukee on Thursday to urge legislators to pass a bill allowing clergy abuse victims to sue churches in Wisconsin no matter when the abuse occurred.

At a news conference outside the Milwaukee County Courthouse, Judy DeLonga, 50, and her attorney said the Sioux Falls diocesan priest who started having sexual intercourse with her when she was 10 in Wisconsin, and continued that abuse for seven years, would not have been revealed as an abuser of other girls here if she had not been able to file a lawsuit in South Dakota.

"The abuse was severe and frequent," said DeLonga, who now lives in Virginia. "It was rape, and he continued to stalk me for years after he left town.

"It took me 40 years to begin to understand the ramifications of the abuse. . . . The reason why I am here today is to stress the importance of eliminating the statute of limitations for any crime that is committed against a child. Because of these laws, perpetrators are able to go free while their victims are serving life sentences and other children are then not being protected."

Posted by kshaw at November 4, 2005 01:39 AM