March 15, 2006

Victims groups want to end legal limitations on sex crimes

Lowell Sun

By ERIK ARVIDSON, Sun Statehouse Bureau

BOSTON -- Describing child sexual abuse as "the perfect crime," advocates for victims made another push yesterday for legislation that would lift the statute of limitations for many sexual offenses.

"Child sexual abuse is a uniquely insidious and damaging crime," Jetta Bernier, executive director of Massachusetts Citizens for Children, said at a Statehouse press conference. "It's the only crime wherein the victim is manipulated into believing that they themselves are responsible for their own victimization."

John Mackey, the retired police chief from Tewksbury, whose daughter was allegedly sexually abused by a Catholic priest, said that sexual abuse by clergy is only "the tip of the iceberg."

"The vast majority of sexual abuse is not clergy related. This devastating epidemic of deviant behavior takes on many faces including, but not limited to, family members, friends, teachers, coaches, police officers and strangers," Mackey said.

Posted by kshaw at March 15, 2006 11:02 AM