NY Governor Cuomo Signs the Child Victims Act into Law

14 Feb, 2019 0 comments
NY Governor Cuomo Signs the Child Victims Act into Law

The Child Victims Act passed unanimously in the New York Senate on January 28th. Governor Cuomo signed it into law on February 14th. The Act extends the statute of limitations for prosecuting child molesters and suspends it altogether for one year in civil cases.

The Facts Behind the Child Victims Act

The New York Child Victims Act allows victims of sexual abuse new rights for pursuing legal action and receiving compensation. Under the Act, the rights of child victims of sexual abuse, including abuse by pastors, priests and clergy, have been expanded to include:

  • A one-year window of opportunity for victims of any age to file civil claims against their abusers and the institutions that covered up the abuse, no matter how long ago the abuse took place
  • A right to file civil lawsuits against their abuser until the victim’s 55th
  • The ability of authorities to prosecute sex abuse cases as felonies until the victim is 28.

This law provides the necessary relief to child victims of sexual abuse by amending New York’s antiquated laws to ensure that perpetrators are held accountable for their actions, regardless of when the crime happened. Under the old law, child sexual abuse offenses could not be prosecuted after five years from their occurrence and victims could only bring civil lawsuits within three years of their 18th birthday.

Governor Cuomo made sure the Child Victims Act was included in the 2019 Executive Budget for these very reasons. As he clearly stated,

“There has been a degradation of justice for childhood sexual assault survivors who have suffered for decades by the authority figures they trusted most. That ends this year with the enactment of the Child Victims Act to provide survivors with a long-overdue path to justice.”

Should You Hire an Attorney?

If you or a loved one is a victim of child abuse, it is in your best interest to immediately consult with an attorney. An experienced child abuse victim attorney can help you seek the justice and compensation you deserve. You can call 1-646-798-1535, a support line that can help answer your questions.

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Author: Jeff S. Korek

Jeff S. Korek joined Gersowitz, Libo and Korek, P.C. in 1992 as partner and trial attorney representing victims of medical malpractice and construction accidents. Known for his meticulous preparation and dedication to his clients, he has obtained substantial verdicts.