Victims, Catholic Church sparring over sex abuse bill

Mar 6, 2017

Victims of child sex abuse in New York say the political power of the Roman Catholic Church and other institutions is preventing lawmakers from passing a law that would relax one of the nation's tightest statutes of limitations on filing criminal charges and lawsuits.

The bill also would create a one-year window for lawsuits otherwise barred by the statute of limitations. The church says that provision would cause "catastrophic" financial harm to any institution that works with children.

Abusers say that's no justification for depriving thousands of victims an opportunity for justice.

Supporters lobbied for the bill at the Capitol last week. They say they are optimistic this year because Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said he supports the idea of making it easier for victims of abuse to sue.