Bill Would Lift Time Limits on Abuse Suits

Los Angeles Times
Downloaded January 25, 2003

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- A bill pending in the Kentucky Senate's Judiciary Committee would lift the statute of limitations on child sex abuse lawsuits, allowing plaintiffs to sue decades after alleged molestation.

The bill is aimed at allegations of sex abuse against clergy, its co-sponsor said, and could have an effect on some of the 200 abuse lawsuits pending against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Louisville.

The Catholic Conference of Kentucky would probably not oppose lifting the statute of limitations, but it opposes a requirement in the current proposal to force priests to report abuse even when they hear about it in sacramental confession, the rite in which Catholics confess their sins to a priest in private.

Current state law permits alleged victims to sue perpetrators within five years after turning 18 and employers within one year after turning 18.

Lawmakers supporting the legislation say they expect it to pass in some form.


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