March 30, 2006

Church wins Senate break

The Columbus Dispatch

Thursday, March 30, 2006
Jim Siegel

In a legislative staredown over whether to allow victims to file lawsuits for old instances of child sex abuse, the Senate blinked first and the Roman Catholic Church won.

A reluctant Senate gave final approval yesterday to a Housepassed bill that requires church officials to report suspected instances of abuse and creates an Internet registry of unconvicted sex offenders who are found liable in a civil case.

After heavy lobbying by Ohio Catholic bishops, the House stripped a provision that would have given victims a one-year window, or look-back, to file a lawsuit for child sex abuse that occurred as long ago as 35 years.

"I have never felt more ashamed of my church than I do today," said Rep. Chris Redfern of Catawba Island, a Catholic and chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party. House Democrats tried to return the look-back provision to Senate Bill 17, but majority Republicans defeated it in a party-line vote.

Posted by kshaw at March 30, 2006 07:36 AM