February 13, 2006

Extend window of justice for sex abuse

Denver Post

There is no question that public and private institutions should be subject to the same standard when it comes to civil court procedures and penalties involving the victims of child sexual abuse. That said, the Denver Catholic archdiocese is overreacting to legislation proposing to lift the statute of limitations for victims seeking damages for the pain they suffered years - even decades - earlier at the hands of an adult.

Whether it was a pedophile priest, a school teacher or a Boy Scout official, responsible adults and their institutions should not be able to avoid accountability for their acts.

The church is arguing that Colorado law makes it tougher to sue public schools under routine governmental immunity laws and therefore it should be just as tough to sue the church for its pedophile priests. Church officials say sexual misconduct in public schools is a more serious problem than it is in the Roman Catholic Church. To prove its point, the church has come up with 85 cases of public school teachers in Colorado dating back to 1997 who had their licenses revoked or denied due to alleged sexual misconduct. Apparently the church considers that far more serious than Colorado priests who allegedly repeatedly molested altar boys and other young boys.

Posted by kshaw at February 13, 2006 07:17 AM