In Maryland, Baltimore County legislator Eric M. Bromwell has introduced a bill that would extend the statute of limitations for filing sex abuse lawsuits.
The bill calls for the elimination in 2009 of the statute of limitations for filing a sex abuse lawsuit. If passed, the statute would go up, from the victim’s 25th birthday to his or her 50th birthday. A yearlong window could allow sex abuse victims to file their injury lawsuits, regardless of how long ago the abuse occurred.
Del. Eric Bromwell said that removing the statute of limitations would allow the people that may not feel ready to file a civilsex abuse lawsuit until years after the incident(s), to sue their assailants for damages.
In Towson, Maryland, Calvert Hall College High School has expressed opposition toward the bill. Several sex abuse charges have already been made against an ex-chaplain and teacher at the school.
The two priests allegedly abused at least 14 people. The school expressed concern that removing the current statute of limitations could allow for lawsuits against the school that cannot be filed otherwise and that this would take a financial toll on the school.
Calvert Hall alumnus Bob Russell says that as a 15-year-old teenager, over 30 years ago, one of the priests molested him twice. Russell has been unable to file a personal injury lawsuit because the statute of limitations for his case has passed.
Bromwell is a graduate of Calvert Hall College High School.
The Web site Darkness to Light offers the following statistics on child sex abuse:
• 1 in 4 girls is sexually abused before the age of 18.
• 1 in 6 boys is sexually abused before the age of 18.
• 1 in 5 children are solicited sexually while on the Internet.
• Nearly 70% of all reported sexual assaults (including assaults on adults) occur to children ages 17 and under.
• An estimated 39 million survivors of childhood sexual abuse exist in America today.
Many of these incidents go unreported. Child victims of sex abuse may even repress these memories for years.
As a victim of sex abuse, you are entitled to file a civil lawsuit for damages. The best way to do this is to speak with an experienced Maryland or Washington D.C. injury law firm right away.
Bill would make it easier to file sex-abuse suits, Baltimoresun.com, February 7, 2008
Lawmakers consider ‘window’ for victims of child sex abuse, Examiner.com, February 7, 2008
Statistics Surrounding Child Sexual Abuse, Darkness2light.org
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