March 27, 2006

Sex Abuse Bill Called 'Victory' For Church

Washington Post

By Caryle Murphy
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, March 27, 2006; Page B04

In a legislative victory for the Roman Catholic church, Maryland delegates rejected a bill that would have allowed older victims of child sexual abuse to sue the church and the priests who abused them.

Instead, the House Judiciary Committee on Friday, and the House on Saturday, approved a bill that would allow victims 25 and younger when the law takes effect to file lawsuits until they reach age 42.

Maryland law currently allows victims to bring lawsuits until their 25th birthday. There is no time limit for criminal prosecutions of those who sexually abuse a child in Maryland.

Under intense lobbying from the church, the bill was amended so the time extension does not apply to victims who are now 25 and older.

"Anybody who is under the age of 25 when this bill goes into effect will have the right to go to court extended to the age of 42," said Del. Luiz R.S. Simmons (D-Montgomery). "But if you're over the age of 25, that's the key, you're gone."

Posted by kshaw at March 27, 2006 07:53 AM