March 28, 2006

Editorial: A window for accountability

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Sex offenders have gotten a lot of attention from state legislators this year. But there is seemingly a double standard in favor of clergy who have been sexual abusers.

The Legislature has been abuzz about a minimum 25-year term for those who target children and about bills that would limit the placement of violent sex offenders in Milwaukee County. But far less enthusiasm has accompanied a bill that would create a one-year window in which victims of clergy sexual abuse could bring civil lawsuits, regardless of when the abuse occurred and statutes of limitation.

That must change. Legislators need to read articles in the Journal Sentinel by Mary Zahn on Sunday and Monday about the pain and suffering endured by the victims of one priest at St. John's School for the Deaf in St. Francis. Now grown men, some are coming forward for compensation and closure, still suffering the lingering effects of abuse at the hands of Father Lawrence Murphy, a longtime and well-respected fixture at the school.

Posted by kshaw at March 28, 2006 08:55 AM