May 03, 2006

Abuse bill passes without 'look-back'



After a heated tussle among Ohio’s Catholic bishops, advocates for survivors of clerical sex abuse and lawmakers, an amended bill passed the state legislature March 29 without the controversial “look-back” provision that would have allowed victims to sue the church for incidents dating back as far as 35 years.

Ohio Senate Bill 17 is now headed to Gov. Bob Taft, whose spokesman said he intends to sign it pending review and no obstacles from the courts.

The original SB 17 passed Ohio’s Senate unanimously in March 2005, but languished in the House Judiciary committee for a year, stalled by the look-back provision, a one-year grace period for filing civil suits covered by the statute of limitations. With current law, the statute of limitations in civil cases expires two years after the alleged victim turns 18. The new version of SB 17 extends the statute 12 years beyond majority. The original bill extended it to 20.

Posted by kshaw at May 3, 2006 06:51 AM