March 27, 2006

Vote needed on sex abuse laws

MASSACHUSETTS
The Enterprise

There are no other crimes like sexual abuse of children. That is why they have to be treated differently when it comes to the law.

The Legislature has heard testimony on three bills that would remove the statute of limitations and charitable immunity caps for crimes against children. There are more than 70 co-sponsors and, during hearings before the Joint Committee on the Judiciary, just a single witness a lawyer for the Springfield Diocese spoke against the bills. So they should pass with no problem shouldn't they?

If only it were that easy. Despite encouraging support in the Legislature, much of the top leadership has not signed on to the bills. There could be a vote as early as next Wednesday, or the bills could be sent to a study committee which means they are essentially dead.

Sen. Robert Creedon, D-Brockton, co-chairman of the committee, should not let that happen. At worst, he should push a vote, up or down, so the public will know where all their legislators stand.

Steve Krueger of the Coalition to Reform Sexual Abuse Laws in Massachusetts said, "Determining the fate of these bills would be a first step to establishing a public policy of zero tolerance for the sexual abuse of children."

Posted by kshaw at March 27, 2006 04:30 PM