As the battle for the Parental Choice in Education Act wages on, Assemblywoman Margaret Markey of Queens has sponsored a bill that would reopen child sexual abuse cases to lawsuits years after the abuse. Currently, the state permits the accuser to file suit up to five years after his or her 18th birthday.
The New York State Catholic Conference issued a statement on the matter, which follows:
In apparent retaliation for the Catholic Church's strong advocacy for an Education Tax Credit to help families afford Catholic schools, the leadership of the state Assembly, led by Speaker Carl Heastie, has suddenly decided to bring to the floor a bill that would allow for decades-old time-barred claims of child sexual abuse to be brought against the Catholic Church, while protecting municipalities and public schools, where the majority of non-familial abuse occurs.
The bill has not been considered by the full Assembly since 2008, because of the recognition that by protecting public institutions and targeting the Church and other private institutions, the bill was unjust and created two classes of victims based solely on where the abuse occurred. The timing of this bill moving now cannot be overlooked. Some Assembly members are angry at being called out for their lack of support for Catholic school families, and are pushing for this measure in what seems obvious retaliation.
Please take action now and tell the Assembly to cease its action against the Church and to address sexual abuse in a comprehensive manner, with a bill that applies equally to all victims, regardless of where the abuse occurred.